Alla prima

Alla prima

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Definition


alla prima is a painting technique done mostly in oils, in which the work is completed before the first layer of painting has dried up or is still wet, such as the 'impressionist' technique or 'Glaze (painting technique)
Glaze (painting technique)
Glazes can change the chroma, value, hue and texture of a surface. Drying time will depend on the amount and type of paint medium used in the glaze. The medium, base, or vehicle is the mixture to which the dry pigment is added...

'. As opposed to traditional oil painting where the artist has to wait for one layer of painting to dry before applying the next one, with the "alla prima" method, wet painting is applied over still wet painting. The primary benefit of this is the speed at which the work can be finished: hours instead of weeks.
The work done using "alla prima" can be carried out in one or more sessions -depending of the type of paints used and their respective drying time- but it is mostly done in one session or "sitting" only.

Terminology


The term "alla prima" is Italian for at first attempt, a way of describing the fast pace of the technique. May also be referred to as 'wet-on-wet
Wet-on-wet
Wet-on-wet is a painting technique in which layers of wet paint are applied to previous layers of wet paint. This technique requires a fast way of working, because the art work has to be finished before the first layers have dried....

', 'direct painting' or the French au premier coup (at first stroke).

Uses


This oil painting process can be used for the still life, the floral, the portrait and the landscape.

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