Why Do Artists Use Thick Paint?

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Artists can use thick paint for a wide variety of different reasons depending on his or her preferences. Learn about why artists use thick paint with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Painting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth. I'm an artist out of Portland, Maine, and I'm going to show you why artists use thick paint. Now a long time ago, art was all about creating realistic looking images and artists didn't want to show the brushstrokes at all in their paintings but now we've been through the Modernist Movement in art and it's much more open to interpretation and much more open to whatever artists feel like doing and one of the styles that artists use today is a very modernist style of Impasto painting which is really showing your brushstrokes and really using thick paint and I'll show you a little bit about how to use the paint in a thick way. So take a fairly clean brush and you're going to be using paint right out of the tube, you don't want to add any mediums or turpentine to your paint to water it down and oil paint has a really rich kind of buttery texture so you're going to load up your brush and just take some blobs of paint and you can load up your brush with a couple different colors. I'm just using black and white in this case and when you put it down on the page, don't smooth it out at all, just let it kind of raise up from the page and make it so that you can see the brushstrokes, leave your mark behind with those brushstrokes and you'll find that you can create some really interesting effects this way. My name is Abbeth and I just showed you why artists use thick paint.

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