Impasto is a technique where the paint is applied on the canvas in thick layers. Because of this, the brush strokes become visible. If a painting knife is used – the scoops is kept visible on the canvas. Sometimes, the colors are mixed on the canvas instead of the palette.
Impasto is an Italian word for dough or mixture
Impasto technique can be easily achieved with oil painting because the colors are thick and slow drying. It can also be achieved with acrylic. It is difficult to do so with water colors with out the use of any thickening agent.
The technique is usually used for three purposes.
- Since it forms a bulged layer, the artist can make use of the shadow and highlight casted on the paint itself.
- Impasto can be used in modern art to convey mood and expression.
- The Impasto technique can make the painting step into the realm of three dimensional sculpting.
Impasto is simulated in some advanced raster graphic editors making them one of the choices for digital painting.