How to do sfumato painting technique

Different painting techniques and their peculiarities

Different painting techniques can also produce different results in painting.

The most important thing is which colors are used (Color techniques) and how to apply them (Painting style).

You can find more about the different color techniques in our compilation of the painting techniques of art.

Different painting techniques at a glance

Based on the way in which the paint is applied, the following different painting techniques or painting styles can be distinguished:

Alla-Prima-Technique (prima painting)

The all-prima technique or prima painting is a painting technique that dispenses with different layers and corrections. Instead, the painting is quickly completed in a single painting session. This makes prima painting a demanding painting technique, as the various aspects of the picture must all be considered from the start: sizes, positions and shapes as well as light and shadow effects.

Glaze technique

In contrast to the alla prima technique, glaze painting involves painting in different layers. The individual glazes (thin, (semi) transparent layers of paint) must first dry before another layer can be applied. The glaze technique works through the shining through of the individual transparent layers of paint and thus offers unique color effects. Depending on the color technique used, the glazed painting technique is therefore more something for patient painters.

Wet-on-wet technique

Those who are not quite so patient may be more likely to get used to the wet-on-wet technique. This painting technique also works with different layers, but paints the new layer into the not yet dried paint of the old layer. It is particularly suitable for slow-drying oil paints, but also for acrylic paints. The wet-on-wet technique with watercolor paints creates remarkable effects, but has to be done very quickly due to the short drying times.


The impasto technique works with particularly thick layers of paint and is mainly known from oil painting, but can also be implemented with acrylic paints. Typical features of the Impasto painting technique are the relief structures, which remain clearly recognizable even after drying. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the great masters who particularly liked to use this painting technique.

Spatula technique

The spatula technique is also one of the many different painting techniques in which you can work with several layers. It is particularly suitable for working with acrylic paints, as acrylic dries quickly and also enables thicker layers of paint. A well-primed, firm painting surface is important for the spatula technique.


Collaging is a particularly creative painting technique. Different painting techniques are combined with other materials such as newspaper clippings, everyday objects or photographs. Water-based painting techniques such as acrylic, gouache or watercolor are particularly suitable for this.


The painting technique of airbrushing is not as new as it seems, but had to fight for a long time to be recognized as an art form. When airbrushing, a finely dosed paint mist is sprayed onto the painting surface using air pressure with a spray gun. What you need for airbrushing can be found on our topic page

Different painting techniques for different purposes

You see - the different painting techniques are as different as the painters themselves. Just try out which painting technique suits you best. You don't have to stop at this list, because it goes on and on. For example with sponge or spray techniques, granulation techniques, stenciling, sgraffito, classic pointillism or numerous mixed forms.

Also read on this topic:

> Painting techniques in art: from application of paint to paint technique
> Painting techniques on canvas
> The best painting techniques for acrylic paints