what is impasto

Impasto can be seen in this close-up of an oil painting.

What is impasto?

Impasto refers to the texture produced by the thickness of pigment in a painting. Impasto is created when paint is thickly laid onto the surface so heavily that it leaves a visible texture. Impasto cannot be created with charcoal or pastel painting techniques, but it is well suited to oils and acrylics. To create even more accented impasto, add alkyd-based pastes and gel mediums to oil paint, which will speed up drying time and protect the clumps of paint from cracking.