Techniques and Tips

Your Painting Needs an Old Master’s Boost: Glazing

Your Painting Needs an Old Master’s Boost: Glazing

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Color Choices for Glazes That Make Your Painting Glow

You have the power to make your paintings glow. With this glazing tutorial, Kent Lovelace breaks down every section of a painting and discusses the ways and means to use glazing (or not), including what colors to dip your brush into first.

The painting Dolmen (below) by Kent depicts an area in rural France that’s believed to be the quarry site for a prehistoric dolmen (tomb) found five kilometers up the valley. Below he describes his painting process for this piece, particularly the glazing.

Get inspired by how light-filled Kent’s artwork appears. And remember that you can create the same look and feel for every one of your paintings with Glazing by Michael Wilcox. It is the leading resource for the methods of a technique that goes all the way back to the Renaissance. Imagine! You could get the same “glow” that the Renaissance’s Old Masters are known for! Enjoy!



I paint in oil on a copper support, which gives my finished paintings a luminescence or glow. After sanding the copper support, I create a monochomatic underpainting of the land and plant forms (but not the sky) with Old Holland neutral tint.

Painting with old, stiff brushes allows the copper to come forward. You can see the directional marks in the foreground of Dolmen. I use a razor blade or rubber scraper when I want especially clean marks.

Color Glazing

Once the underpainting is finished, the color glazing begins. For this I use transparent or translucent paints that let hints of copper shine through. The paint films are very thin. Even if you can’t see the copper, you can feel its presence.

Glazing Tree Forms

I began glazing the tree forms of Dolmen primarily with umber green, yellow ochre and cobalt blue. In much of the painting, I utilized the purple-ish underpainting for darks and subtle texture.

I created the light on the trunks by using the transparent nature of both Liquin and Cremnitz white over the warm tone of the copper and the darker neutral tint of the underpainting. I made highlights and shadows with cobalt and manganese violet reddish.

Glazing Upper Land Forms

For the upper elements of the lands forms, I glazed the underpainting with yellow ochre, umber green, violet and Cremnitz white, I chose a mixture of yellow ochre, Cremnitz white and Italian brown pink lake for the area beneath the outcrop.

In the foreground, I glazed with transparent Italian brown pink lake over the textured brushwork of the underpainting.

Glazing the Sky Area

For the sky area, I used cobalt blue, blue violet, manganese violet reddish and Cremnitz white. I painted the sky directly on the copper without an underpainting,

Watch the video: Glazing: Painting as the Old Masters Painted (August 2022).