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Impasto is a technique wherein the paint is applied thickly on a canvas or a panel to create a three dimensional texture. Paint is applied using the brush or painting-knife in a way that strokes are evident. Impasto paintings are mainly done in oils and acrylics due to its thickness and slow drying time. It can also be made in watercolours, tempera and gouache by using a thickening agent. Painters use it as a highlighting technique, as the thick texture of the painting makes the light reflect in a desired way, creating a more expressive visual for the viewer. 

Vincent Van Gogh, Twelve Sunflowers, 1888, impasto, layers of thick paint