How to Use Alla Prima Studies to Elevate Your Portrait Painting

ByMary E. Alvarez

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Portrait painting has been a passion of mine for as extensive as I can try to remember. I’ve been constantly doing the job to get superior at it due to the fact my early 20s, when I was a university student in Florence, Italy. I analyzed traditional solutions of drawing and portray that experienced been passed down to my instructors from genuine masters of the 19th century. Now, I proceed to hone these expertise as a drawing and painting instructor.

Two Strategies to Building Competencies

Skill-making is a advanced endeavor for artists. To start with, we require to have the proper theories and then follow them via with the suitable routines. I’ve discovered there are two approaches finest suited to the practice of painting:

  • More time reports made over the training course of numerous times, weeks, or often even months
  • alla prima studies is a relatively low-risk way to build your skills. Whether the work ends up fit for framing or gets tossed into the bin, you’ll have spent a day seeing and observing the light and your subject directly from life. The results of your decisions and color choices will be right there on the surface, with no hazy glazes or layers of fiddling standing in the way. For this reason, an alla prima study is one the best exercises for students of painting who truly want to see improvement in their work.

    Get the Support You Need

    You’ll need a variety of materials for alla prima studies, but the support is the most important. You’ll want to work on a surface that’s quite absorbent—one that allows you to lay down clear brushstrokes that show a pure and opaque color with the first application.

    Stonehenge Oil Paper by Legion is far and away my preference. The paper’s absorbent surface allows for the subtle blending of brushstrokes, making it perfectly suited to an alla prima approach. A list of other recommended supplies is below.

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