Alla Prima

By: Courtney McCreary

Hi everyone~

One traditional method of painting is known as “alla prima”, which basically means “all at once”.

It’s very similar to en plein air in landscape painting (which I discussed in a previous post), in that its completed in one or two sessions. Because of this, alla prima paintings tend to appear loose, with less fine details. But by no means does this mean they’re sloppy! Alla prima paintings can have some really interesting textures. Artists painting in impasto (paint applied thickly with a palette knife) often paint in this method. The goal is to match color, value, and gesture, rather than get particular about tiny details, and they often look more expressive as a result; as you can see in the example below.



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