Indirect painting technique is a procedure of using a multi-layer painting option to create the final painting. It all starts with the first layer, which is drawn and waited to get dry. This first layer is called underpainting. Though it doesn’t have much to do with the final work, it still provides a great chance to sketch the main highlights, patterns and overall shading of the upcoming painting. Usually the undepainting is being created in a manner to show the main hints of the upcoming painting.
This is a technique which has been frequently used both by classical and more or less contemporary painters, including Van Eyck , El Greco, and Rembrandt, as well as Paul Klee, Rouault and Modigliani.
The first layer is usually covered by two or three additional layers. This layers can be put with two main manners: in first case the painter makes the over-layer transparent leaving the first layer to be shown entirely, while in the second case the painter puts the second color with a bold layer, making the first layer visible only at some points.
The last technique allows to create a 3D effect. If the painter will use not homogeneous oil paints, but will use transparent, shiny and metallic colors the effect will be more impressive.
The techniques used in indirect painting are glazing and scumbling. Glazing is the techinque of applying transparent layer of a darker color shade, while scumbling is the opposite, it’s the application of lighter color over the darker one. Scumbling is usually being done to make pearly surfaces.