Why Should I Be Glazing?

Have you done, or had, a painting that just needs some warming up? Maybe you just need a subtle shift in color, maybe you added too much and your painting has taken on a chalky, dull look—don’t worry, there’s a solution!

Glazing over your painting with a thin layer of color can solve that drab problem for you! In fact, glazing is so effective it can improve the light and life in your paintings and restore them to that vibrant look that first drew you in!

Even better, you can alter the color in slight, subtle ways so you can increase the dramatic appearance and a add that much sought after glow that’s incredibly difficult to obtain on its own.

So what’s glazing look like in action?


First, a sketch was drawn on canvas. Then an acrylic medium was applied to fill in the space to define the subject matter concentrating on volume and perspective using Raw Umber, some Titanium White, and only a tiny bit of black. These hues are mixed in various ways to achieve the shades needed to fill in the subject.  This is called underpainting.

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Finally, a glaze was applied all over.  You can easily achieve this by using a Matte Medium.  I personally like to use the Golden brand, but of course there are others on the market and everyone has their own preference!  Again, a glaze is basically a thin layer of paint that is very translucent, allowing some of the color underneath to show through.

Be generous with this medium as you mix your hues using about 1/3 or more in some cases of the medium.  For this painting I used orange (Cadmuim Red Light), Red (Alizarin Crimson), Blue (Ultramarine Blue), Yellow (Cadmium Yellow), since those were the colors in the still-life! Apply your glaze and voila! You’ve brought the rich tones of your art back to life!