• Izabella Orzelski

Impasto: The Natural Beauty of Thick Paint


It seems that everyone is attracted to luscious, heavy, textural paintings. Similarly to a cupcake barely supporting the enormous weight of icing, a canvas covered with thick juicy layers of paint seems to transform into a three dimensional object of the viewers desire. The texture adds shadows and a tactile experience through the eyes. You can’t help but want to touch it.

How can we paint to achieve such an effect?  Well, a heavy paint application will do the trick. This is the most common way to achieve an additional dimension in paint. The problem is that this will be a costly solution (some colours are ridiculously expensive!) and, in the case of oils, the time it takes for the paint to dry is very long.  I have recently been experimenting in my art and using a lot of heavy textures in my paintings.  I have discovered that if  I buy the light modelling paste in one gallon containers, I have the perfect solution. First of all, the paste mixed with paint will automatically create a thickness of paint that is of a sour cream consistency and opaque. This is easy to shape and move. The application can be completed with either bristle brush or, even better, a palette knife. The paste is a great extender of paint as well, which means saving money. I always make sure to keep the lid tightly closed to prevent drying of the paste through air exposure. So far, I have  tried only one brand, Golden,  and I am pretty happy with it since I can mix this paste into paint or sculpt/model it and then paint on top).  Hope you find yourself inspired and I encourage you to go for it and enjoy the unlimited potential of the modelling paste!

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© Copyright Izabella Orzelski