Direct painting, also known as alla prima, offers a more stable and problem-free approach to creating art when compared to painting in layers. By completing a piece in one session, artists can avoid the complications that arise from layer adhesion and the expansion or contraction of paint layers.
Although layered painting can produce stunning results, it also increases the chances of encountering issues. One reliable method to alleviate these concerns is using flexible alkyd mediums when painting in layers. For those who prefer this approach, adhering to the fat-over-lean principle (applying flexible layers over inflexible ones) is essential.
It's not uncommon for artists to experience difficulties when attempting to achieve proper adhesion between layers, especially when different mediums or retouching varnishes are involved. Painting wet-into-wet or completing a piece in one session can help mitigate these problems.
Striking the Right Balance in Paint Application Finding the optimal paint thickness can be a delicate process. A moderately thick layer of paint is ideal, as overly thick applications risk cracking and extended drying times. Conversely, an excessively thin layer can also cause complications.
Diluting paint too much with solvents can weaken the adhesive properties of the oil content, leading to adhesion issues with the support. To prevent paint from rubbing or flaking off over time, avoid diluting it to the point where it has a watery consistency.