Glazing in acrylics to create luminous colour with light and shadow

Step by step

Duration: Saturday Nov 13th 9.30am - 12.30pm for 6 weeks. East Fremantle Garden Studio, | Scheduled Dates


A packed series of 6 workshops learning how to mix and layer colours in both acrylic and oils to create luminosity within contrasting light and dark.

The use of strong contrasts between light and dark is known as chiarascuro.

Glazing is layering up transparent or semi-transparent colours to create brilliant luminous colours. For example, you could create a luminous orange with several layers of red, magenta and yellow. This creates far more depth of colour that direct painting, as the light shines through the layers and reflects back. The paint is mixed with a glaze medium instead of water, which suspends the colours and creates more light refraction.

Week 1

Mixing and painting colours of the dawn. Pinks, violets.

Mixing and painting colours of the evening.

Green palettes. Yellows to blues, greys, West Australian coastal.

We’ll be mixing palettes together in pairs in acrylics.


Week 2

How to mix any colour using the colour wheel.

Understanding how colour works in shadow and reflected light/colour.


Week 3-6

In the next 4 weeks you will learn the traditional method of Grisaille painting where you layer your glazes onto a monochromatic underpainting. I love this technique. It is easy to learn and you can have so much fun experienting with colour once you have your underpainting sorted.

Week 3

Glazing in acrylics with mini Grisaille paintings to create a reference bank. We use acrylics so that we can paint many layers in one class.

Week 4

Painting in oils the tonal underpainting of Grisaille, looking at light and shadow.

Week 5

Overpainting and glazing two small paintings in oils looking at light and shadow.

Week 6

Overpainting and glazing two small paintings in oils looking at light and shadow.

Traditional Glazing

Look here for a great article by Jonathon  Jansen on how Vermeer applied glazes.


If you’re an absolute beginner it will be rich, but you’ll be fine. If you’d  like something a little slower, the Friday class starting Nov 12th, may suit you more.  It spends much more time on the initial colour mixing and it’s in acrylics and pastels.

Book with a $100 deposit for early bird and pay the balance when you start or by arrangement.

Full cost $480

Early bird $440 by Nov 1st

Book with a friend $440 each.

Includes prepared boards, paints, brushes, glaze medium and oils, acrylics. There is a $20 discount if you have your own oils.

Morning tea is provided.

Group size 5 -10






Milkmaid by Vermeer