Anand Radhakrishnan’s tips.
A glaze refers to a thin and transparent layer on a painting that affects the appearance of the underlying layer. This change in appearance could be in hue, value, texture or a combination of all three.
As such, glazing is the second of the two-part painting process where layers of paint are applied thinly on an underpainting, usually done to add colour to an achromatic or monochromatic underpainting. It’s similar to placing a coloured Cellophane sheet over a black and white photograph.
There are two main reasons why glazing is popular among artists. The first is brilliance and luminosity. Because it involves applying colour directly without the addition of white to make it opaque, the colours are more saturated and appear brighter on the canvas. In addition, it provides a glow to the painting.
Second, underpainting enables you to break down value and colour. Because glazing deals with colour and doesn’t affect the value to a large degree, the finished painting often stays loyal to the tonal schemes of the underlying opaque layers. In many ways, glazes work like the Multiply layer in Photoshop, adding transparent layers with the underlying image showing through to a large extent.
Anand is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Mumbai and has recently explored the world of sci-fi and fantasy illustration. You can see more of his art by visiting www.behance.net/anandrk.