Sunday, March 28, 2021

That Risky Glaze

 Beloveds who are new to our painting community are often a bit nervous (shakin' in our boots!) when it's time to do the first glaze! And why not? We're got several layers on the canvas, we may really like what's there - and now you want me to cover it up?? Ugh! 

When I took my very first Muse class in 2014, I was having a good time with ceremony, visioning, painting and journaling, ...

Then Elisabeth told us we were going to paint over our canvas with a Risky Glaze - ¿paint over? ¿glaze? Yikes!! 

So how do we glaze and why?

Applying a glaze, a thin layer of translucent paint, is a great way to integrate what has gone before, and is a key component of our process with Intentional Creativity® It is also a simple way to add Mothercolour, which brings harmony to the whole painting.


  • Spray bottle, adjusted to mist
  • Clean t-shirt squares 4" or larger
  • Old towel to mop up excess water
  • Shallow cup
  • Big brush

Glazing basics:

  • Use a transparent color - Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold or Transparent Red Iron Oxide are some favorites! (Green Gold, transparent yellow iron oxide, Quinacridone magenta, a transparent blue are other options)
  • With Golden paints, you'll find a little transparency scale on the back of the bottle it tube, look for ones with the dot toward the left. (Without white)
  • I use a small shallow plastic cup ~ 3" across, put in ~ nickel size dollop of transparent paint, and a teaspoon or so of dirty paint water, and mix, adding more paint or a spritz of water as needed. You'll need a bit more water with heavy body paint, but not a lot! 
  • Spritz the canvas all over with your spray bottle
  • Lay it flat on your drop cloth, if you can (you can also glaze it upright on your easel - your choice!)
  • Put on happy music if you're working on your own
  • Use a big brush to apply your glaze all over the canvas
  • Spritz again if you need to for the glaze to spread
  • Use a piece of T-shirt, to rub and "burnish" the canvas if you wish (try on a small area first)
  • Then, you guessed it! 
  • Sit back with your journal, and write about what's being integrated!  
Student applying a partial Glaze
 Other Glazing Options
  • We often glaze several times, here are some options to consider:
  • Partial glaze, use one color on half the canvas, and another on the other half. Smudge the line between the two, burnish if you wish.
  • 4 directions: choose 4 transparent colors. Spritz the canvas with water, then use the first color along the top, spritz again and let it drip ...rotate the canvas, spritz and use the next color ... Spray, paint, play with the drips. Turn the canvas again 
  • We may want to glaze just the background, to make our figure stand out more - light draws the eye
  • I love add a bit of metallic Gold as times! Our inner Critics are easily distracted by shiny objects! Spray the canvas, and use splashes of gold or another metallic in a few areas, usually in addition to another glaze color! 
  • And - however you glazed, grab your journal, and write about what's coming up, what's being integrated. What happens as you turn the canvas and get a different perspective? 
In our process with Intentional Creativity, each layer builds on the last, and we are invited to return to our Journal, and our notes in messages from the original visionary journey, and our intention for the piece. 
What if there was nothing we could get wrong? 
What's going into the fog, and what's coming forward?

Take it to the Journal 
Pour a cup of tea, move back about 6' and sit with your journal. Hydrate while your glaze is drying! This helps integrate what's happening in the canvas.
This is a good time to write fast and furious about whatever is coming up, and is fun to use watercolor pencils. If something seems important, you may want to note it elsewhere, or just process - get it out! (I hear Shrek, "Better out than in!") 

Is this something that's come up before? Is there a voice attached to it? (Can you identify a person who told you that?) You may want to dialogue a bit with your Muse. You can let the words and colors cross and build. This can become a compost layer ... You can later activate the colors with water, and perhaps collage over the words.
It can also help to return to the initial visioning, and ask yourself if/ how what's coming relates to those? 
What attracted you to this class or journey in the first place? 
What's shifted who've you first wrote? 
What insight is arising? 
This is also a good time to notice symbols that may be arising, and sketch them in your journal.
Remember to take photos to document your journey, especially between steps and before you glaze. 

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