What is Alla Prima?


'Alla Prima' is an Italian term meaning 'at once'.  It is a technique whereby the entire painting is completed without waiting for any layers of paint to dry, usually in a few hours.

It is also known as 'wet-in-wet' technique as often wet paint is applied on top of paint that is still wet.  


Working in this way, without waiting for any layers to dry, is quite different from the more traditional approach of gradually building and perfecting a painting in layers, and the result tends to be a little looser and less refined.  However, alla prima can have a richness and energy of paint and brush strokes that is difficult to achieve any other way.


This method takes less patience than layering and means that the satisfaction of a completed oil painting can be attained much more quickly.  



Alla Prima / Wet-in-wet Lessons


During these lessons you will learn how to make alla prima oil paintings from start to finish and become familiar with the different stages they can go through.      



Courses in Which Alla Prima is Taught


Oil Painting for Beginners Course >


General Course in Oil Painting >


Special Course in Abstract Painting >





Below is an example of an alla prima painting completed by a student during tuition: 

Alla Prima Oil Painting (Wet-in-wet)

A Rapid Technique, An Expressive Result

alla prima oil painting - oil painting lessons

Onion and Tomato by Hana Scammell (using alla prima / wet-in-wet technique)

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Since 2005