Glazing Tips

You can use glazing as little or as much as you like in a painting. You may elect to glaze only the sky, or you may use the approach to enhance only the center of interest. Perhaps you may decide to develop the entire painting in this manner. Take time to experiment and explore various combinations of color and how they react upon the paper. Before you begin here are a few tips to assist you.


  • Develop your glazes from transparent watercolors.


  • Begin with your lightest pigment, usually a yellow.


  • Keep your washes diluted and transparent.


  • Make absolutely sure that all previous washes are completely dry before a new wash or glaze is applied.


  • Use the more opaque paints toward the final stages of your painting, unless you are trying to achieve a special effect. Using them in the early stages of your painting runs the risk of creating muddy or chalky washes. If you do try to paint over opaque pigments, try to make only one pass and don’t go over the area again.

    For more ways to create luminous colors as you capture the joy of nature, see Watercolor in Bloom by Mary Backer, available this month at fine-art stores, bookstores and online suppliers—or click here to order it directly from North Light Books..

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