prima (It. at first). Method of
painting in which the colour is applied in one session and no subsequent
modification is made. In oil painting any previous drawing or
under-painting is obliterated so that it docs not affect the final result.
Alla prima is a style of
painting where, instead of building colors up with layers or glazing
over an underpainting, the painting is completed while the paint is
still wet. Strictly defined, an alla prima painting would be started
and finished in one painting session, but the term is also more
loosely applied to any painting done in a direct, expressive style,
with minimal preparation.
Alla prima comes from Italian,
literally meaning "at once". The French term is premier coup
Behind the Barn, Sheffield (July 1990)
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