Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glazing a Rose

This intimate study of a rose this morning was inspired by one of my students, who is working with the  indirect oil painting method. In other words first painting a value study underpainting or grisaille (for this 8 x 10 rose on canvas panel I used Mars Black and Titanium White acrylics) then adding transparent glazes of color.  I have to admit while I've glazed before, it's not a technique I use everyday. I tend to be a more direct oil painter so I was excited to try this method again. 

While the oil painting glazing technique calls for some extra patience, the fascinating results are well worth it.  You can see why the master European painters were so entranced by this method. I love how focusing on the first step of strong values immediately gives you instant light and drama.

In the next step or layer, I decided to try glazing using Gamblin Galkyd Lite medium (in the past I've used Winsor and Newton Liquin) since I've noticed so many painters recommending this medium lately. While I thought the Liquin worked quite well for glazing, I've been looking for less harsh medium for my growing chemical sensitivity in the studio.  

For my transparent oil pigments I chose a simple palette of: Perm Rose, Thalo Blue, Indian Yellow, and Burnt Sienna (mixed with Thalo to help warm up the cool background). I'm eager to keep layering on the yellow and red on the rose, but I'll try to be patient and let it dry overnight. I also found it easier to glaze laying the painting flat on the table (rather than on an easel) and I used a No. 6 nylon filbert rather than a stiffer oil brush.

Since I glaze quite a bit in watercolor, I think that helps me here because I'm needing to adjust my approach  from opaque direct oil painting to transparent layers here. At the end, however, I'll likely add some opaque in my lightest or whitest areas for more pop.  As always, thanks for stopping by and happy painting!

P.S. If you are looking for more information about painting florals using this glazing method be sure to visit Jane Jones website she's a master of the technique.


  1. If you apply a glaze onto paint that isn’t totally dry, the layers of paint will mix together, which is just what you don’t want to happen. Be patient rather than sorry.

  2. Thank you for your comment--I agree patience is a virtue in glazing. I'm learning that as I work on my current glazing project. See my post Amazing Glazing. Thanks again for taking time to comment!