Glazing- transparent layer of bright color spread over the top of a lighter, opaque underpainting that is dry to the touch. Light travels through the glaze and is reflected back off of the underpainting. This causes a glowing effect similar to looking at a brightly lit white wall behind a film of colored cellophane. The thin oily layers of a glaze are easy to manipulate, facilitating the rendering of detail.
(Wiki again ;)
I want to add that glazing is also incredibly important for deepening shadows. While most people turn to glazing to achieve a “glowing” effect it is equally important in deepening shadows. Developing our shadow areas is really going to allow our brighter areas and highlights to “sing.” Viridian, Sap Green, Prussian Blue and Magenta are just a few of my favorite colors to use when I need to darken an area.
A glaze can be applied and then left “as is” to dry. Some artist even have “glaze days” where all they do is apply a few glazes and leave the piece to dry and be worked on at a later date.
Glazes can also be applied and then worked into while still wet. Experimentation and trial and error are so important as to finding what works for you. (I’ll demonstrate in class on how to “leave a glaze” and how to work into a wet glaze this Thursday.)
Working with oil glazes requires some planning ahead. Any glaze, regardless of how “bright” the color being glazed is, will bring your painting down in value. Keep this in mind while making your underpainting. Going to dark in your shadows early on will limit your use of glazes and may force you to opaquely paint over an area to brighten it up. (There’s nothing wrong with this, I do it all the time...just be conscious of this while working. Oil’s are wonderful and we can abuse them to our hearts content. Just be prepared to go back and forth adjusting values until you’ve reached your desired effect.) Paintings can be completed in two minutes or two decades, (some longer) so don’t try to rush things, and make sure you have more than one painting to work on at a time.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to add your opinion. This is a place to share and learn from each other.