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How to choose paints: Glazing for oil painting

There are many techniques in oil painting and one of them is glazing. Glazing provides infinite play of colours and is commonly used for portraits.

First of all, make sure that the last layer is completely dry. Allow your painting to take rest for at least one week to make sure that glazing techniques can be appllied. 

As a binder use mixture of linseed oil, damar varnish and turpentine (optional). What about paints, use  transparent paints only. There are some tips on what paints to use for glazing techniques:

  • white: use zinc white instead of titanium;
  • yellow: use lemon yellow, Indian yellow or cadmium yellow light (make sure it's transparent) instead of cadmium yellow deep or permanent yellow;
  • red: use madder lake instead of cadmiums;
  • purple: use madder lakes instead of cobalt or magenta;
  • blue: use phthalo blue or spectral cobalt instead of other cobalts, Prussian blue or ultramarine;
  • brown: use mars instead of sienna, umber, Van-Dyke or ochre; 
  • green: use phthalo green or sap green instead of cobalt, oxides and other kinds of green;
  • black: mix your own one from mars brown and some blue.

(c) RUSART Art Supplies

Artist: Alexander Surkoff

Roubloff bristle flat brushes

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