Alla prima oil painting technique means "at first". It portrays a piece of art that the artist does in just one
sitting. Most alla prima artists start by making a rough drawing with only a handful of tones.
The details and colors are added after the rough drawing has been made. Alla prima is a good way to get started
in painting, and it can also be used to create still life paintings and
How to do alla prima oil painting technique
The first thing you need is to sketch the subject of your drawing in one color using a dry brush. You can use
any colors you like for the background, including umber, black or gray paint.
Then, you have to mix the dark color with light colors to make two more tones for your painting. Use these tones
to add more detail and shadow to your painting.
The next thing you need to do is to paint shadows on the drawing using light colors. To paint accurate shadows,
you might consider observing light and shadow in an actual setting. When you see an overhead light, you will see
that it creates short shadows that go across the center of the object.
Front lighting, on the other hand, casts shadows behind an object. The side light creates side shadow while
light that falls at a 45-degree angle has a combination of front and side lighting.
Then, add some white highlights and allow the painting to dry. It may take a while before your painting can dry
so wait patiently.
The next step to using alla prima oil painting technique is to apply colored glazes over the dark colors. However, the paint
you applied should be translucent so that the original dark colors will still show through the painting, defining
details and shadows.
The result of this will be a darkened or lightened color underneath the color that was applied to the painting.
You can touch the painting and see if it still needs more color. Then, finish the touches and allow the painting
again to dry.
Before beginning with alla Prima oil painting technique, it is ideal to paint the entire background of the
canvas with a suitable color. The color you choose must be able to compliment to the dominant colors of the
painting. If you are going to paint a figure or a portrait, then it
is best to paint the background with a cool green or bluish color.
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