Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Painting Baby's Skin in Oils

Baby skin is softer, pinker and smooth.  So I've added some Permanent Rose to my basic mix of colours (Cadmium Red, Lemon and Pthalo Green) to make the skin appear soft and pink.  In this portrait, I am leaning towards a purple hue to match the rest of the painting.  To make the skin appear smooth, I have lightened it somewhat and feathered off any hard edges.  To do this, I will go over the edges with a soft, dry brush, brushing until the edges of colour are indistinguishable.  I still have to add the orange hues to the baby to match the other face.

You'll notice I have roughly brushed in the baby's top with a purple/pink colour that I think will complement her skin.  I can compare this now to her flesh tones, and work on her highlights and shadows to suit.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

How to Paint Eyes in Oil

The eyes are the most important part of this portrait because both faces are looking directly at the viewer.  I paint in the whites of the eyes first, giving them a purple/pink hue to match her dark blue eyes.  At this stage, I've just blocked in the colour of the eyes.

With a dark purple mix, I've outlined the irises and darkened up the eyes underneath the eyelids.  Lastly I use this mix to fill in the pupils, feathering them into the blue slightly.

I've added some highlights to the eyes near the bottom of the iris and flecked these in and around the pupils, just positioning them in the right spot at this stage.

I'll go over the eyes later when they are dry, adding more contrast and sharpness.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

More Background Tips for Painting Portraits

I always try to use the same colours for the background that I have already decided on for the portrait. I use a limited palette, so it's just a matter of mixing your existing colours together to create harmony throughout the painting.

So now, I can see that a very dark hue is needed for the shadowy side of the face to bring out the flesh tones.

Now that I am happy with the tone and colour, I can use these background colours to paint into the side of the face and work it into the shoulder to keep the edges soft.

When I do the hair, I will do the same so that it is soft against the background.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Background Colours for a Portrait

Before going ahead and finishing the face, I decided to try out some colours for the T-shirt so that I could start thinking about background colours.  I've used Ultramarine Blue for his shirt because I think it will go well with the baby's pink and purple top.  Ultramarine Blue is a purple/blue.  I can see now that the green I washed in previously for the background will be horrible.  I think I'll need something dark and strong to bring out the faces.  I'll leave it for now.

Monday, 23 April 2018

How to Paint Shadows on Faces in Oil

So the light source is pretty obvious, streaming across the right side of the face.  Where the light hits an object, it is sharper, with more colour.  As it fades away from the light, the shadows are muted in both colour and sharpness.  This is where I add my purple mix to my basic colour mix using Ultramarine Blue.

Behind the glasses, the eyes are a little softer, and on the shadow side of the face, can be a little more purple to suggest the lens.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

What is a Basic Palette for Portraiture Painting?

As always, I've started with the eyes, blocking them in so that I can work around them.

I'm using my basic colour palette for portraiture - Cadmium Red and Cadmium Lemon for a lovely deep orange with a dot of Pthalo Green (you can substitute this with Viridian).  The green greys off the bright orange so that when you add white, you should get a lovely flesh tone.  I am making my highlights quite orange in this portrait, but you can adjust these colours to suit the flesh tone you are after.  I also add Permanent Rose to my basic mix to some of the pinker areas of the face - nose, cheeks and lips.  For shadows, I like to use Ultramarine Blue to the basic mix.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

My Next Project - Portrait of My Latest Grandchild

I've decided to use a smaller canvas (50x60cm) with this one as I don't want to take too long in painting it.  Children change so quickly.