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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Oct-17 > Alla-prima oils

Alla-prima oils

Haidee-Jo Summers says the alla-prima approach is a great way to freshen-up your oil paintings. Here she suggests you put yourself to the test by limiting the number of brushstrokes you use
Hyacinth and Cupcake, oil, 10X8in (25.5X20.5cm).

This still life was painted in 30 minutes: I used a timer to make sure I didn’t go over my time limit. I think it has a delightful freshness that would have been lost if I had continued to work on it. I find that the earliest marks made in a painting are often the most useful, concise and descriptive

Alla prima means ‘at the first stroke’. It is used to describe a painting approach whereby paintings are started and completed in one session, before the paint dries. It is a good place to begin getting used to the process of paint application and a useful technique for all sorts of circumstances such as painting en plein air, when speed is of the essence. Working alla prima in oils suits my simultaneous needs for enthusiasm, freshness, simplicity, and speed.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first of our new standard 80-page magazine, packed with even more inspiring practical articles to help you to improve and enjoy your own drawing and painting. In addition, this month we also include your free 16-page supplement with details of some of the best art courses and holidays available to inspire and inform your creativity, whatever your level or years of experience. So, whether you love working in watercolour, oils, pencils or acrylics, take your work to the next level with our team of passionate artist/tutors including Judi Whitton on how to use body colour in your watercolours, Haidee-Jo Summers with some useful exercises to help you loosen up in oils, Mike Barr's beachscape demonstration, Paul Talbot-Greaves on how to start with a watercolour mess and end in success, Peter Graham on why the rose makes such a wonderful subject for still-life paintings, Robert Dutton on mastering perspective for city scenes, and Peter Burgess with tips on composition and the Golden Section, to highlight just a few articles in this issue. Plus, there's so much more to guide and inspire your artistic development within our new 80-page issue - enjoy!
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