Painting alla prima

Techniques. Resources. Creative Processes. Genres

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Painting alla prima


“Alla prima” is an Italian term that means “first attempt” and is a painting technique that it is also called direct painting, or wet-in-wet painting. The artist works without previous sketches, with speed and confidence, and without applying layers of paint one over the other. That is why both images and colors are obtained in one go and many times paintings are finished in one setting.

The artist should be very talented since there is no much planning, no repainting and it is very difficult to correct on the go. But the result is fresher, natural, and full of life. The brushstroke is more loose, spontaneous and ideal to capture the instant.

That is why even it is a technique used by the most talented painters of the Baroque, it is very functional for the landscapists and the Impressionist whose aim is to capture the moment.


Image: Las Meninas (1656). Diego Velázquez.


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1 Comment

Fernando Ariel Martinez Ortiz · 9 August, 2021 at 1:41 pm


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