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.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

How to Paint a Floral Dress in Oils (Part 2)

The folds in the material are the most important part.  Don't be too fussed about the pattern.  Make up your dark shadow colours before you begin (a small amount of Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red mixed in with each colour you have used for the pattern).  Go along the fold with each corresponding dark shadow colour so that the fold is very obvious and makes it easier to work around.  Just do the major folds at the moment.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

How to Paint a Floral Dress in Oils (Part 1)

This dress was very complicated and tedious to paint I must admit.  I should have thought about the kids' clothes when we were doing the photo shoot!  But it is one of Issy's favourite dresses, so I felt compelled to paint it anyway.

I drew in the folds only with a pencil because it would be too hard to accurately draw the pattern of the dress.  The pattern is from a watercolour, which is in a very loose style, which makes it easier to copy. 

So I started with one colour at a time and proceeded to paint the flowers and leaves in roughly the right place.  They didn't have to be exactly the same as the photo.  I think the main idea here is to end up with a pretty dress in similar colours.