The Power of Glazing Acrylics

December 12, 2014

Filed in: Uncategorized

Have you ever seen a painting that seemed to glow or illuminate with color that was hard to define? Chances are the artist used layers and layers of glazes to achieve a luminosity that doesn’t come out of a tube. Glazing is one of the techniques I use in every painting to achieve a depth of field that resonates with color, it is also can be a labor of love and patience as well because the process causes one to move forward  at a slow and steady pace. 

Color is an incredibly powerful force in my world. It lured me in as a child and for a lifetime, I have been at its mercy. The lack of it makes my heart grow cold, the intensity of it takes my breath away, and the manipulation of it connects me with a knowing that I was created to dance with it. Glazing gives me the steps of the dance per se, along with mark making, and as I move and undulate my layers across the paper, I sense an experience beginning to evolve and come to the surface. 

In this piece, I first layered umpteen different colors almost as a watercolor wash but I used watered down fluid acrylics mixed with a bit of glazing medium. My goal was to control the colors so that they stayed true and didn’t head towards mud, but for the most part, my first layers are always about play. 

Glazing the next layers slows to a snails pace. I seek to add lights in places where the darks overpower. The dance continues as I pour complimentary colors and analogous colors to achieve a luminosity that creates its own light. These glazes are paper thin and I pour up to 30-40 at times in certain areas. 

The final steps in the glazing process is to decide which direction to go in based on cool or warm colors.  Here I opted to embrace both and glazed another 10-15 layers of them to achieve this intensity. The end result for me is total eye candy and the color evokes a power that hits me directly in the gut. Glazing is also one of the three Artistic Trinity techniques that I will teaching in depth in my online class because I love it so much. You can read more about that here. 

As I have matured as an artist over the years I have come to respect the nuances of subtle color and 
realize that in every hue or shade or tint, beauty is reflected. We are created with the magical wonder of sight, through the lenses and rods that give us the ability to take in color and be moved by it. I remain grateful beyond words for being hard wired this way.

For those of us who are impacted by color in such a way that it brings us to our knees, I smile with you in that knowing. I also sense that we as humans are meant to find our true colors, through the pathways of creativity and through the power of love like no other. Today I shine mine brightly and celebrate the excitement of what glazing can do for a painting. 

“To Reflect Love In Color” 22″ by 30″ acrylic on paper 

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