Glazes create transparency
Glazes are a great tool you can use to add depth to color during the painting process. There are different glazing mediums depending on whether you’re using oil, acrylics or water non permanent paints like water color or quash. The medium thins out the paint turning opaque colors transparent.
There are four degrees of this technique. First is opaque a solid color that is flat and absorbs light. Next is semi-opaque which has a small amount of reflective or transparent qualities. Transparent is you can see right through the paint adding a layer of depth. Finally you have semi-transparency is when you can see the colors beneath the color which will create a three dimensional quality to the paint.
Each degree of transparency is created by adding the correct glazing medium for the paint you’re using. I paint mainly in acrylics so I use the medium with the same chemical properties of the paint so brand doesn’t matter.
How much medium to use to get the effect you want?
Start by adding a small amount to your paint. If your mixing colors add it after the color is mixed. Do a test sheet which you can experiment. Start with a long area of dry opaque color. Add medium to your next color and paint it over a section of the dry opaque color. Keep an adding small amounts of medium until you can see more of the paint underneath the glaze.
Glazes create more depth when you start out with your lightest color and add hues of glaze that accent the subject matter. The shadow can be made deeper by using a semitransparent hues. Wine bottle, vase with flowers, windows or glass are subjects you can practice painting until you become familiar with the medium.
The delicate layers of glaze create a realistic three-dimensional illusion in your picture area. As you can see in this piece how all the glazes work together adding a depth to Graces fur and the colors in the grass.