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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: 3 Made in gilded metal and marble, Bungalow 5's piper gold statue has a distinctive profile, along with a long bill and long, slender legs covered with a textured impasto.
Traces of the artist's hand are always legible within them; paint is sometimes applied across broad swaths of the canvas in a rapid alia prima ductus, and sometimes details are built up in layered impasto. Elsewhere, the untreated canvas is left exposed, and its pale beige comes into play as the only "real" color.
The items for sale included abstracts, Farsi calligraphy and pastoral images in the thick-paint impasto style.
Sonia Bublaitis is exhibiting four photographic prints which look like explosions of colour, and Howard Manttan's Rainbow Blast uses heavy impasto and diagonal lines across the canvas to also create a colour blast.
He went on to use symbolic black paint and the heavy layering 'impasto' technique to represent other brave human rights activists in different parts of the world.
"By her own description, Anna Molka was a passionate expressionist painter of vigor working in heavy impasto oils.
8da YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS WEE THINKER ACROSS: 7 Overall 9 Isles 10 Timer 11 Grenade 12 Gnu 13 Nuthatch 16 Cheapest 17 Vim 19 Chained 21 Delta 22 Nears 23 Distant DOWN: 1 Cottage 2 Vermouth 3 Fair 4 Life raft 5 Elba 6 Asset 8 Light-headed 13 Neatness 14 Civilian 15 Impasto 18 Scent 20 Alas 21 Dish QUICKIE ACROSS: 1 Wheelbarrow 8 Sea 9 May 11 Circuit 12 Bride 13 Arm 14 Tea 15 Variant 17 Pew 19 Unit 21 Abet 23 Sage 25 Code 27 Tom 29 Take off 31 Any 34 Box 36 Noose 37 Surname 38 Tag 39 Led 40 Handwritten DOWN: 1 Weir 2 Harm 3 Educate 4 Butt in 5 Robin 6 Omit 7 Wade 8 Scalp 10 Yeast 16 Tug 18 Wad 20 Net 22 Bet 24 At first 25 Chant 26 Geyser 28 Mixed 30 Amend 32 Noah 33 Yoga 34 Bale 35 Omen
The vibrant colours, heavy impasto, and rigorous geometry of the late '50s now gave way to contemplative works of the highest quality.
Meanwhile, the artwork is a celebration of the expressionist stuff of paint, with heavy turbulent impasto creating textured surfaces, animated and dynamic in feeling: colour is used for emotional and atmospheric means.
The roughly 37-by-29-inch ''Sunset at Montmajour'' depicts a dry landscape of twisting oak trees, bushes and sky, and was done during the period when van Gogh was increasingly adopting the thick ''impasto'' brush strokes that became typical of his work in the final years of his short life.
The paintings, with their wedding-cake-icing-thick impasto brushstrokes, illustrate a German pastoral countryside that fulfills two nightmarish visions: the romantic/nationalistic imagery conjured up by the National Socialists, and the impracticable and cruel scenario of the New Germany, a nation of farmers, emptied of much of its population through starvation and forced migration.
I often paint in severe sunlight which is the most obvious aspect of my work, the blinding glare of the noonday sun and the dark cast shadows dramatically cutting through the picture plane of the crust impasto art works, he says.