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impasto(ĭmpăs`tō, –pä`stō), thickly applied paint that projects from the picture surface. Such works as Childe Hassam's Allies Day (1917; National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.) and Hans Hoffman's abstraction In Upper Regions (1963; David N. Marks Coll.) exploit to advantage the vigorous effect inherent in impasto technique.
the thick, uneven application of paint to a canvas or to a ground. The surface’s resulting sculptural quality, which is sometimes quite marked, often consists of the very strokes applied by the brush or palette knife. The areas with the thickest application of paint are most prominent.
The use of impasto, which in the past was often combined with a thin application of pigments in the dark areas of a painting, intensifies the emotional expressiveness of a work and conveys the textures of objects most convincingly, revealing the sculptural possibilities of the paint itself.