Mother Glaze

breche palette

A “Mother Glaze” is an essential ingredient when creating faux marble, woodgraining, certain organic textures, and any other technique that involves the expressive use colors.   I’ve coined this pot of glaze as a “Mother” because it is the base for all offspring colors.

For example, when creating the major veins of a marble, I create a mid-tonality medium that I use to mix the colors of my palette.  The mother glaze is poured into a palette cup and used to mix with the vibrant colors on the palette.

What’s the recipe?  It depends on each project and the size of the surface.   Basically, for projects being done in oil, I use my 3 x 1 mixture (using less linseed oil for a faster dry time).    For water-based projects, I use a slow-dry acrylic glaze (like Proceed by Golden).  If I want a faster dry time, I would add a fast dry medium like Matte Medium or Acrylic Glazing Liquid. 

Here are some examples of the usage of a mother glaze:

In a previous post, this faux breche marble was created with the palette below.

breche palette

white breche faux marble

Rouge Royale – I used a brick color as my mother glaze.

rouge royal faux marble

Oak woodgraining palette in oil.

faux oak palette

Oak in process.  The mother glaze is used effectively for sketching out the major tonalities — adding the colors from the palette to add tonal streaks.

faux oak mother glaze

In this previous post, Shagreen is created using a mother glaze.


A darker blue was added to the mother glaze to create this center variance.

shagreen mother glaze

If you use a tinted mother glaze instead of just clear medium, you will have better control over the results.




  1. great tips Pierre, thank you for sharing them.

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