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 (ĭm-păs′tō, -pä′stō)
n. pl. im·pas·tos
1. The application of thick layers of pigment to a canvas or other surface in painting.
2. The paint so applied.

[Italian, from impastare, to make into a paste : in-, in (from Latin; see in-2) + pasta, paste (from Late Latin; see paste1).]


1. (Art Terms) paint applied thickly, so that brush and palette knife marks are evident
2. (Art Terms) the technique of applying paint in this way
[C18: from Italian, from impastare; see impaste]


(ɪmˈpæs toʊ, -ˈpɑ stoʊ)

1. the laying on of paint thickly.
2. the paint so laid on.
3. enamel or slip applied to a ceramic object to form a decoration in low relief.
[1775–85; < Italian, n. derivative of impastare to impaste]


1. In painting, the thick application of paint.
2. In ceramics, the application of enamel or slip to a ceramic object to form a decoration in low relief.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.impasto - painting that applies the pigment thickly so that brush or palette knife marks are visible
painting - creating a picture with paints; "he studied painting and sculpture for many years"
References in periodicals archive ?
Sometimes it is so thick it goes beyond impasto and into a kind of relief sculpting of objects.
The chisel marks, uneven surfaces, and impasto layers slow down our viewing, engage use, and invite us to dwell on the effect of time on the quality of our surroundings and our lives.
We've come to connect thick knifed impasto with a Wales-by-numbers approach to rainy, stony landscape.
Monet was a consummate marine painter, in A Seascape, Shipping by Moonlight (1866) a frill of white impasto reveals the eerie moonlight that pierces the lowering clouds and shimmers on the waves, while the glow of the lighthouse marks the safe entrance to the port.
Here are some of the options available to do this: impasto style painting using the palette knife, impressing or incising textures on a clay sculpture or vessel, linoleum block printing, or creating a textured collage.
A similar silver surface or a white impasto may play one role in a given panel and a very different one elsewhere (standing for water in one scene and sky in another, for example), but repetition nevertheless pulls those different moments together.
His high-angle landscapes allow him to explore light, mood and weather in gutsy impasto.
Although, the vehemence of his brush strokes and thickness of his impasto are still visible, the latter has almost certainly shrunk with time.
The use of impasto painting is quite evident in this self-portrait because, even though the reproduction is fiat, we can see the separate brushstrokes the artist used and can tell the paint was thick and sticky.
The following Corot inspired project is especially appropriate for primary grades who learn about Corot's work by incorporating his technique of impasto painting into a landscape work while capturing the essence of light.
The bouquets in A J is for Mud, 1961, and Petals of Paint, 1964, look literally made of stuck-on gum--and the M in the former, jigsawed from wood and marled in gray-green impasto, is stuck on too.
And if you look at this particular work you can see the boldness of the paint and the impasto (paint applied thickly).