How to Use Glazing for Color Mixing in a Painting


Glazing is the term used for the technique of painting thin layer upon thin layer, and a glaze is a single layer of paint that’s thin enough to allow the colors beneath it to show through. Each new layer builds up the depth of the color and modifies what it’s being painted over. As you practice this process, you’ll discover how to add multiple layers of color to produce a new color.

Practice and Patience

Glazing takes patience to master. Besides waiting for one layer of paint to thoroughly dry before adding another layer, what takes the most time is learning best practices in thinning paint and just what the change in a color will be so that you can predict the results and use the technique to your advantage.  As with mastering any new skill, the key is practice, practice, practice (and patience, patience, patience). 


If you are working on a painting with glaze layers but building up the colors isn’t working, there are two things to check. First: Are you glazing onto paint that is utterly, totally, and completely dry so that the colors aren’t mixing? Second: Are your colors thin and transparent, so the layer below each shows through? 

This compilation of articles on glazing will help you on your way to using the technique successfully in your paintings, no matter whether you use oils, watercolors, or acrylics.

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