Imprimature – color tinting (tinting) of the soil or the first layer of the canvas.
Imprimatur is a simple and effective way to create color harmony in a painting. In thin-layer writing, the color of the soil, shining through the layers of paints, combines them in a coloristic sense. So, on soils with warm and hot shades of color it is easier to withstand painting in warm colors, on gray – in silver, on cold – in cold, on dark soil – in dark colors, etc. Imprimaturity facilitates the work of the artist and technologically speeds up the process of painting. The artist can not apply extra paint layers, and this, in turn, gives great strength to the paint layer and improves the safety of the painting. In addition, imprimaturism is a layer that does not allow excessive penetration of oil from paints into the ground, eliminating the phenomenon of excessive drying of oil paints, common in our time.
Sometimes even large planes of the canvas with a pronounced imprimature and texture of the soil do not overlap with other colors, but remain unwritten and enter the picturesque-plastic solution of the picture. Ground color is used to solve contrasts, to achieve realistic transmission of body modeling and light intensity.
“The color of the soil can play a big role in painting, if you use it according to the method of the old masters, that is, give it the opportunity to shine through layers of paints and thus take an active part in the overall effect of painting.
Since the transillumination of white soil is very favorable for the colors lying on it (transparent or translucent), usually the soil is given a white color, which, if desired, can be easily given any shade by various methods. With the ability to use the color of the soil, it can be maintained in gray, red, brown, dark brown and other colors, depending on the painting task. Whatever the color of the soil, it shows its activity with respect to the tone of the painting lying on it only if the colors on it are not too impervious to the layer. Abundant layering of colors can destroy the effect of any color of soil on the tone of the painting. When working on colored soils, we should not forget that over time it is common for the oil layer of paints to acquire a greater degree of translucency, and therefore the color of the soil will appear more strongly in the future than in a freshly painted picture. ” (D.I. Kiplik, professor of the I. Petersburg Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. E. Repin, author of the book “Painting Technique”)
A primer mass can be applied to the glued canvas by adding the desired pigment to it. You can add pigment to the last layer of soil or make color tinting of white dried soil with oil paints.
Usually, the old masters made imprimaturism by covering paint from lead white, Neapolitan yellow and bell earth, worn with linseed or peanut butter, cooked with lead litharge.
Imprimaturity with coating paints has a greater effect on painting than transparent liquid paints.
Previously, primers, in the mass of which paint was added to give color, were used relatively rarely.
The bulk of the colored soils are glue-gypsum or glue-chalk soils of a pure white color, the surface of which is completely covered with some color paint.
Imprimatura, if you observe historical authenticity, is precisely a layer of oil paint, laid on white soil.
Imprimature can be applied in a smooth even layer or in relief with a certain texture.
Imprimatur can be applied with a brush, a flake, a brush, a palette knife, a rag, a palm and the like.
Imprimatur was widespread thanks to the artists of the Venetian school of that time – Titian and others. Almost all of Titian’s works have a thin layer of imprimatur. Titian applied imprimatur with a thin layer on the white surface of the gypsum-gypsum soil after it had already been applied.
The student of Titian, the Spanish artist El Greco, also wrote his works on brown imprimaturism (burnt umber), applying it in a thin layer on white glue-gypsum soil.
Rafael and Correggio performed their works on glue soils, covered with a thin layer of oil-varnish imprimatura mainly bluish-gray, gray and sometimes light brown.
Imprimaturity was not always oily, for example P. Veronese painted on light gray glue soils, undermining tempera, like many painters of that time.
Researchers of the techniques of old Italian painting came to the conclusion that many Venetians undermined tempera, then varnished it and ended in oil.
Tintoretto painted with oil paints on dark soils: gray and brown chocolate shades directly in local tones, without grisaille preparation of forms, but using glaze in draperies and other areas of the interior.
Frans Hals wrote on tinted transparent brown imprimaturized white glue-coated ground.