Step 32: Overpaint and balance the shadows throughout the painting.
Our Still Life lessons explain and illustrate the step by step process of building up a detailed painting.
We use a traditional glazing technique where we render the detail of the image in layers with transparent glazes of color on top of an opaque base color. A glaze in painting is a mixture of a large amount of medium (oil, turps or acrylic) with a small amount of color pigment. It is applied as a thin transparent layer of paint using a soft sable brush.
Once the still life drawing is established, we start by underpainting the background, foreground and shape of each object with an opaque base color. When this is dry we overpaint the details in thin glazes of color, gradually building up the tone to the required depth. Subtleties of tone and color are built up with several glazes where each layer is allowed to dry before the application of the next. This results in a translucent layer of vibrant color.
Glazing as a painting technique was first developed in the 15th century by Jan Van Eyck and adapted by many Renaissance artists as their principal method of working. It is particularly suitable for realistic painting in both oils and acrylics.
Our Still Life Group
The image above is a photograph of the actual still life group that we used for our painting.
The objects were chosen to demonstrate the painting of transparent, reflective and solid forms.
Our slide show at the top of the page illustrates the painting process from start to finish while our menu below explores the painting of individual objects in greater detail.