Tuesday, 6 February 2018

"Cadbury" - by Robbie

Robbie has done a fantastic job painting her beautiful labrador Cadbury.  The background is lovely and soft, giving Cadbury a very realistic look.  She has added some lovely soft highlights to his fur to create interest and colour.  Great job Robbie!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

How to Paint Hair with Oils

To begin painting the hair, the face has to be softened into the hair.  I brushed around the edges of the face with a slightly darker hue to re-wet the edge of the face.  I then brushed in a fairly dark hair colour (in this case a dark auburn - a lot of Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna).  Feather these two different tones, brushing away from the face, very lightly, with short strokes.  You don't want to lose the edge of the face - just make it soft and blurry.  Ultimately the dark will become a lot lighter.  So then you can reapply the darks, gently dabbing toward the edge of the face again, without leaving a hard edge.

With my dark hue, I brushed in the bigger, more obvious layers of hair.  It's a continual breaking up of the hair.  Don't be too neat.  I'm still using a fairly big flat brush.  Once all the larger sections of hair are separated, fill in the rest with a lighter tone and feather it all off so it is nice and soft.

Now for the detail.  I use a fine No.1 brush with a bit of Liquin added to my mix.  We are going lighter and lighter with fine brush strokes.

So, back to the darks, emphasising gaps and the original folds of hair.  Don't forget the light source for those lovely clean highlights.

Lastly, the hair has to soften into the background.  As you move around the edges of the hair, flick the colours out and about into the background.  Use your background colours, making them slightly darker (e.g. a slightly darker purple against the blue background, a slightly darker orange against the yellow part of the background etc).

Again, not too neat.  Lastly, flick some random hair out and over the hair to make it a bit more natural.  Do this with a very light tone.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Painting Legs in Oil

First of all, I roughly painted in the knees and shinbones in a dark hue.  The strong light coming from the side made it easier to see where the knees and shinbones were.  So darks first, remembering that where the light hits the object, it is darker with more colour.  As it rounds away from the light, add some reflective colours - in this case, pink under the soft toy and orange against the next figure's leg.

Next, brush in your clean, highlight flesh tones on the light side, gently feathering them off into the darks. 

I then used a soft purple to further feather off the shadow colours into the highlights.  By going over my colourful, dark colours with this, it helped to grey them off and at the same time soften any hard edges.  It is hard to get a happy medium where you want edges (shinbones and knees) but want to keep them soft and round.

I am still painting the background as I move along the canvas, so that I can soften the sides of the legs while the paint is wet.  The edges of the legs have to almost disappear, using only shadow colours to round them off.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Let's Start Painting the Background

As I move along the 5 figures, painting in their legs, I will do the background at the same time.  They are all sitting on a bench, so I decided to fill in the gaps with soft folds of material.  I'm doing this at the same time so I can feather off the flesh tones into the background while the paint is wet.  I want these folds of material soft with no hard edges, and fairly random.  I started with the darkest darks behind the material, then just streaked in various colours that I have used for the portrait.  I never introduce new colours just for the background - I like a fairly limited palette if I can to keep the painting consistent. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

How to Paint Little Hands in Oil

One arm of Raven's is in shadow and the other is almost entirely in light, so I first mixed my colours until I was happy with a shadow flesh tone and a highlight flesh tone.

Little fingers are tricky to paint because they tend to be more sausage-shaped.  I made sure that each finger was the correct length and width by measuring them with a ruler.  Remember the rule - to make an object appear round, shade around the edges and highlight the middle to create the illusion of it coming toward you.  Don't make the fingernails too prominent as I did at first - they are tiny and flesh coloured with a nice clean light pink for a bit of shine.

I smooshed that shadowed arm into the background so there wasn't a hard line in the shadows, by making the background very dark in a similar colour (Scarlet and Ultra Blue).  I may change the background later but at least the arm is nice and soft.  I repainted everywhere the arm was in shadow to blend it in (under the arms on the stuffed toy, under the sleeves and shirt).

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Painting the Arms and Legs in Oils

So now I'm back on the flesh tones for the arms and legs.  The arms and legs are usually a bit darker and tanned compared to the face.  I'm still using my base colours - Scarlet Lake, Lemon, Pthalo Green and adding Ultramarine Blue for shadows.  I have made the shadows on the arm more orange on the highlights, especially against the red shirt.  Kacey here is the closest figure to the viewer and so requires a bit more detail than the other kids.  With the highlight colour (a very light creamy orange - not white) I have dabbed randomly through the orange shadow with a fine brush to suggest hair and texture).  His legs are pushed back behind his shorts, so I have feathered them off into the surrounding background by using various tones of purple.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

How to Paint a Floral Dress in Oils (Part 3)

After doing the major folds in the dress, now you can go over it and gently add shadow to where the material is slightly indented or highlight where it is bulging outwards (all in the co-ordinating colours of course).  These shadows will be soft and not too dark.  Make sure that your folds are still soft - run your brush over any hard lines to make them smooth and blended in - no hard edges.