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Art Encyclopedia - Glaze

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > G > Glaze

Glaze
Glaze is a technical term for a translucent and transparent film or layer of colour or paint applied to a completely dry underlayer of colour or paint, so that underlayer is modified. It is most successful when the glaze is darker than the hue over which it goes. It is used in tempera, acrylic and oil painting. In all cases the glaze is normally a mixture of pigment and varnish thinned with turpentine and some volatile medium.

The benefit of glazing is that not only does it afford the painter more control over the evolution of the painting, but it also creates a luminescent, translucent surface, with certain layers appearing to show through. As glazing darkens a painting, painters often repeatedly glaze surfaces that they want to recede into the canvas, such as a background wall or figure. Mixing a glaze with a small amount of white allows the painter to maintain the intensity of a highlight. Many oil paintings can have anywhere between three and thirty layers of glaze.

Pottery glazes usually work on the same basis, that is alteration of the undercolour but in addition can serve to seal the porous clay of which the pot is made.

 





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