ConversationCracking On A Painting: Narrator: Listen to the conversation between the students and his studio art professor. Professor: Ok, so how's it coming along? Student: Well, I feel good about the composition, which, as you know, is something I've been working on. Professor: Yes, there's a nice sense of balance here. Student: Thank you. Professor: Nice is the color. Uh, you like there's some clapping going on here. Student: Yes. And I don't know why. Professor: Em, it might be how you prepared your canvas. Can you tell me what what you are doing? Student: Well, I find it with gesso, with two layers of gesso, like you showed us to fill the canvas and prepare for the paint. Then I let it sit for about a day and a half before I started painting. So I'm sure it would dry. Professor: Yeah, they should have been long enough. It's pretty dry in the studio this time of year. Ok. So what did you do next? Student: Well, I really wanna get a lot of texture into this paiting. So I started by putting on a thick layer. Then I used the toothbrush to rough it up a little. Professor: Ok. Student: Then I wanted to add some shading on contours, so for the next layer I used the thinner paints. Professor: Ok, let's stop here. Are you familiar with the concept of fat paint and lean pait? Um. Student: No, I don't think so. Professor: Fat paint is paint use straight from the tube, it's thick and oily. Student: Ok. Professor: Which is what you use for the first layer of your painting. Student: Right. Professor: Now when you take that fat paint and paint it out by mixing it with some kind of paint thinner, like the turpentine or mineral material, you get what's known as lean paint. Student: You mean lean paint, not oily. Professor: And lean paint dries more quickly than fat paint. Do you remember what I said about how oil paint dry? Student: Yeah. You said it oxidize. That the paint mixes with air and the oxygen in the air combined with components in the paint. Professor: Right. And during the drying process the paint actually formed at first and then it shrinks a day. And the thicker the paint, the more expansion and contraction there is. Student: Okay. Professor: So what do you think would happen if the thin top layer of paint dry before a thick lower layer finished expanding and contrasting? Student: The movement of the bottom layer would crack the top one? Professor: You meet it just like it did here. Student: So if I want to build layers and texture into my paintings I should start with lean paint and make each layer of the fatter. Professor: That's the basic idea. Student: But I like the way the fifteen capture the texture of the landscape in the painting. Professor: I agree that. But you can do that with dark fat paint using different tools to create the textures or you can start with lean paint and build up the textures slowly. Just don't put lean paint over your fat paint.