Oil Painting Techniques - Glazing

OLD MASTERS OIL PAINTING TECHNIQUE

In the 'old masters' oil painting technique, the oil painting is painted first using just two colours, raw umber and zinc white. The colours are glazed on top of the underpainting in thin translucent layers. I love painting in this technique. In this article, I share how I use this technique using my painting 'Guardian Spirit' as an example.

'Guardian Spirit' oil painting was painted using the 'old masters' oil painting technique.

'Guardian Spirit' oil painting was painted using the 'old masters' oil painting technique.

Oil Painting Supplies For The Underpainting

The underpainting in this technique is painted with two colours: raw umber and zinc white. I use Liquin as a painting medium for the underpainting. Liquin is a fast drying medium, so the painting will be touch dry the next day. The medium will make the paints flow better on the canvas and also shorten the drying time of the paint.

Glazing Medium For Oil Paint

To glaze paint, you need a glazing medium that will thin down the paint and make the colour layers shiny. The glazing medium is made out of three ingredients: Dammar varnishBleached linseed oil and odourless turpenoid. To mix the medium, pour an equal amount of all three ingedients into a glass jar. Dip your brush into the glazing medium and mix it in with your paint. You can adjust the amount of medium you mix into the paint, depending on how thick you want your paint layer to be. The glazing process requires a lot of time and patience, because you will have to wait for the glazes to dry completely between each layer. I often mix a little bit of Liquin into my paints in addition to the glazing medium, so I won't have to wait so long for the layers to dry.

Here is the underpainting for 'Guardian Spirit' I painted by using raw umber and zinc white.

Here is the underpainting for 'Guardian Spirit' I painted by using raw umber and zinc white.

Best Oil Paints For Glazing

The glazing technique works best with high quality oil paints. I like to use Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colours and Mussini oil paints. Cheaper student grade oil paints don't have as much pigment in them, and that makes getting beautiful and vibrant colour glazes much more difficult.

Work in progress photo of 'Guardian Spirit', my painting palette and a jar of glazing medium.

Work in progress photo of 'Guardian Spirit', my painting palette and a jar of glazing medium.


Here are two videos where I use the 'old masters' oil painting technique. In the first video, you can see how I painted an underpainting using raw umber and zinc white. And in the second video, you can watch how I painted the colour layers on top of the underpainting.


List Of Oil Painting Materials

Here I've listed all the materials I used in these videos with an Amazon affiliate link.


Thank you for reading!
-Eeva