Impasto is a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the surface (or the entire canvas) very thickly, usually thickly enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture, the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.

Impasto paint serves several purposes.

  1. First, it makes the light reflect in a particular way, giving the artist additional control over the play of light on the painting.
  2. second, it can add expressiveness to the painting, the viewer being able to notice the strength and speed applied by the artist.
  3. Third, impasto can push a painting into a three-dimensional sculptural rendering.

The first objective was originally sought by masters such as Rembrandt, Titian, and Vermeer, to represent folds in clothes or jewels: it was then juxtaposed with more delicate painting. Much later, the French Impressionists created entire canvases of rich impasto textures. Vincent van Gogh used it frequently for aesthetics and expression. Abstract expressionists such as Hans Hofmann and Willem de Kooning also made extensive use of it, motivated in part by a desire to create paintings which dramatically record the "action" of painting itself. Still more recently, Frank Auerbach has used such heavy impasto that some of his paintings become almost three-dimensional.


My Oil:

1 liter Linseed oil
1 cup Pool sand
1 cup Aquarium sand
400 gram Salt.
6 liter water

Boiling for 1 hour.

Chalk Putty

1 cup chalk
2T 72 hour walnut oil
4T 48 hour walnut oil
3T My oil

A nice combination of oils for general work, good boing, dries well. Chalk putties absorb more oil but also will break if stored. This is not an issue in practice, comes back together by simple mixing. Chalk is a little rough

Marble Dust Putty with BPO

1 cup Marble Dust
1t BPO #5 *   
1T sun oil
3T+1t 72 hour walnut oil.

 * (BPO is an abbreviation for burnt plate oil.  This is used in printmaking and is like stand oil.  But it is relatively clean, yellows less. #5 is the viscosity, like stand oil.)

We did :

1 cup Marble Dust
3T+1t 72 hour walnut oil
2 My oil

Nice fine sticky past ,dry in one day. A little loose, a little gluey, dries with an increase in depth from the BPO.

Smidge of Egg Putty

1 cup Marble Dust
4T 72 hour walnut oil
1t BPO#5
1t whole egg

We did:

1 cup Marble Dust
4T 72 hour walnut oil
2T My oil
1t whole egg

Get a kind of air bubble in there, less sticky

More set from even this amount of egg, tight detail, clean line. More egg would cause more seizure, the need for more oil to make it move. This type of putty can get a little rococo in practice, fun outside or for loose work. Can be tubed without going bad.

You want to use cooked starch for a putty.  This is flour that has had the gluten removed, then cooked slightly, then dried.  It is used for laundry, to make clothes stiff. This can be wheat, but also rice, or corn. Cooked starch is sometimes sold as wallpaper paste, sometimes also used by bookbinders as a glue.  You mix the cooked starch with water, one part starch to 2 parts water, then mash a small amount of this into an oil and chalk putty.  Say, 10% starch gel.  This gives the putty a different quality, an emulsion

We did:

1 cup Marble Dust
4T 72 hour walnut oil
2T My oil,

10% starch. Stickier looks nice.


putty proef impasto impasto

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