1.What is Impasto? Impasto is a technique where paint is laid on an area of the surface in very thick layers, usually thick enough that in my case the palette knife strokes are visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry impasto provides texture, the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas. With acrylics you can build a thick textured surface by applying the paint straight from the tube or jar. I use a heavy gel medium which I find produces a more dramatic textured effect, the addition of the gel allows me to extend the paint and I can push and pull the paint around creating contrasting textures. Impasto came in to its own in the 17th century when Baroque painters such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Diego Velazquez used skill fully and minutely worked impastos to depict lined and wrinkled skin or the sparkle of elaborately crafted armour, jewellery and rich fabrics. 2. Van Gogh pushed the Impasto style not just to add dimension to his paintings but to add emotion and movement.