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I have a question regarding Alla Prima work in oil painting.
Alla Prima is painting all at once, in one session. However, if I take a break and come back and the paint on the panel is still wet (meaning comes off my finger like it is fresh, not tacky), can I paint into it or will this cause problems? I am using M. Graham walnut oil paints which seem to be slow drying, unless I am using a lot of burnt umber (for example). I am going to be working on a portrait that I expect will take 2-3 days working on and off during the day. Is this okay, or do I need to wait for layers to dry before adding more paint to a section that has previously been painted? I am not planning on glazing per se. I am using a limited palette of ivory black, titanium white, yellow ochre and cadmium red light. My exerpience using these colors during life painting alla prima sessions is that the paint does take several days to be touch dry. I recently started mixing my M. Graham titanium/zinc white 50% with Wiliamsburg pure titanium white to cut the amount of zinc, and also to add a bit of linseed to the mix. I haven't worked a lot with this mix yet and not sure how fast it will dry, but plan on using this mix in the portrait.
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It is fine to continue working on a painting when it remains
wet to the touch. Problems arise when painting fresh paint over a layer that
has only had the time to skin over but it remains wet under the surface. This
situation is exacerbated if you apply paint containing driers over layers that have
not have the time to oxidize through the whole layer.