Impasto paintings (thick paint technique)

In fine art, the Italian word "impasto" (dough or paste) means a technique with using undiluted paint. Initially, the method was used to mask defects or some fragments of the painting. Artists mixed pigments directly on the canvas to obtain the required color or effect.

With this technique, you can add 3D look to the abstract art, almost sculptural quality or create unique textures. The technique uses thickened opaque layers - oil paint and acrylic paint, gouache and tempera. Smears with a thick layer of paint created relief surfaces on which traces of a brush or spatula are still clearly visible. Some artists used the method for specific elements of the painting, others, like Vincent Van Gogh, performed entire canvases in impasto.


Unlike mixing "wet by wet," the impasto technique really creates a physical sense of volume in expressive, abstract works. In modern art To make smears denser, artists sometimes add wax or other substances.

Early Baroque artists Rembrandt and Velasquez used impasto in part, for complex painting textures such as hair or carved stone effect.

Impressionists and abstract expressionists used a thick layer to create visual illusions, imitate broken texture, volume, and intense light. Expressionists used the technique to convey feelings and emotions. Claude Monet used an tectonic approach to impasto.

Our best impasto artist Anna Clark prepared a collection of her paintings on our website. Hurry up and check out her updated collection using this link:

Anna Clark paintings





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Updated on Sep 18, 2020 by Alex Vlasenko