Oil Portrait Painting

Many artists have become famous for painting oil portraits. The most renowned painters in the past were made famous by their wonderful portraits that aimed to capture the exact likeness of its subject. At a time when photography was not yet invented, it became a more popular way of getting one’s likeness preserved and shown for future generations. This might have made them quite popular then.

But up until now, portrait painting in oil still comes as quite a challenging task to master and to become an expert at. For one, painting a portrait in oil may be quite more complex than what others may have expected since using oils usually require patience. Not only that, it also takes the artist’s expertise with visualizing a subject in order to transfer its likeness into the canvas. Each artist may do it in a number of ways, each depending on how well they serve to achieve the artist’s own standards.

Even though there is not one correct approach to the perfect portrait painting in oil, there are some ways that artists should be able to follow in order to make their work look spectacular. Here are some simple and general hints that may be of help to artists doing portraits in oil:

  1. The first step is always to make an accurate sketch in charcoal and make sure that the features of the subject in question are correct and accurate. This sketch would become the guide that would be followed as the artist try to build up a mixture of colors and paints to come up with a masterpiece.
  2. During the actual painting, artists should remember to paint shadows in order to define a broad structure. This can usually be achieved by starting with the nose which is often at the central portion of the painting.
  3. Artists should also try to add some color in areas where the shadows meet with the light.
  4. It is also important for artist to make the shadows similar to the background colors of the painting.
  5. In painting the face, artists should try to break them into planes. One hue tones should also be assigned to these planes and should be painted in the simplest manner possible.
  6. One may be able to create warm backgrounds for the portrait by taking the shadow color lighten its value a bit as well as weaken its intensity.
  7. Remember not to let the background overpower the central subject which is the face. Use neutral colors for the backgrounds in order to make the subject come forward.

There are other oil portrait painting hints that may be able to help every artist come out with better artworks. Getting better at oil painting, just like any other hobby or skill, takes a lot of practice. So do not worry if you do not get it the first time. Practice after practice would allow you to master the different methods used in painting portraits in oil.

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