THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF THE PAINTING SURFACE. I used to take for granted colors on a painted surface, not realizing that the thickness of the paint was important. I posted here about what I had learned, from having a daughter who is an artist, about overpainting and underpainting and the effect of different layers of paint.

John Griswold illustrates the effect of thin glazes of color in a discussion of a still life from the mid 1600’s. He says the painter achieves the beautiful dark blue in the painting “with thin glazes of ultramarine oil paint applied over a layer that was highlighted with white lead. When light penetrates the thin blue glaze, the white reflects it back, intensifying a deep blue hue.”

In other words, the reflection of light by the underpainting affects our perception of the outer surface.

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