Portraits have been drawn for a variety of purposes, including:
- Make an accurate representation of the sitter’s features.
- Preserve someone’s identity for future generations, particularly before the invention of photography.
- Make a memento, a faithful reminder of someone who is no longer alive.
- Create a public profile for the sitter by highlighting his or her rank, glamorous appearance, or personal attributes.
- Record the artist’s reaction to the subject’s live appearance.
- Represent the human subject’s inherent dignity or virtue.
- Recreate the conventions of classical portraiture in a modern context.
- Investigate the sitter’s personality, psychology, or inner attributes.
- Develop or improve your painting abilities.
The goals are not mutually exclusive, and today’s portrait paintings would have to weigh all of them against the fee and desires of the customer.
Any General Tips for Painting a Portrait
The majority of portrait artists begin by sketching the sitter. They may not take the place of photographs, but they are usually favoured because drawing allows the artist to research and comprehend what he sees.
Nonetheless, issues can arise. Some sketches will come off right away, and others will only come off with a lot of preparation, and there are times when nothing appears to work. As a result, some painters, especially the more advanced, start working on the oil portrait right away.
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They stop making a photographically accurate yet facile/bland/unilluminating facsimile of the subject by going from general appearance to revealing details. Here are few general guidelines:
- In preliminary practise, use the right medium: pencils for a small and/or informative sketch, chalks or conté for a larger sketch.
- Make sure the lighting enhances the face’s power, solidity, and personality. When the lighting and features are such that the features are not closely arranged by arrangement, it is very difficult to capture a full facial resemblance. It’s especially difficult to draw eyes and mouths that ‘float’ in a soft woman’s face where you can’t place muscles, wrinkles, or shadows. If at all possible, avoid wearing a full mask.
- Never make a full-size smile. The standard limit is two-thirds, and half-size is safer. A paper or canvas that is too thick leaves large gaps that are impossible to fill and through which it is difficult to correctly position features.
- It’s crucial to get as close to the blueprint as possible. A few feet farther away, certain expressive features of eye folds and mouth are missing.
- It’s better to start with the big tonal or structural masses and work your way down to the eyes and nose. A convenient analogy is the triangle formed by the eyes and the tip of the nose.
Painting Portraits on a Dark Background
- Make an accurate charcoal drawing. Make certain this is correct.
- Just turps-thinned raw umber and white are used on the model.
- Rep stage 2 if needed before the modelling is right. Each attempt should cover the previous one entirely but thinly.
- Pay attention to the rough and soft margins, the skin over the bone, and any pulpiness. Since dark grounds absorb mid-tones and darken with age, the tone should be noticeably lighter than intended.)
- Thoroughly dry the region.
- Paint the shadows with a combination of Indian red and black, the highlights with stiff white, and the intermediate shades with a mixture of these colours modified with cobalt or a very small amount of chromium oxide grey.
- Thoroughly dry the region.
- Scumble and/or glaze this grisaille with red and yellow pigments, either in oil or a combination of oil and glazes.
Painting Portraits on a Toned Background
The following method is more general, emphasising the importance of a. doing all ahead of time and b. doing oil drawings to solve problems when they occur.
- Prepare the field properly: if you’re using a lot of medium for ink, it should be absorbent; if you’re using a glazing technique, it should be less absorbent. The best shades are greys, blues, pinks, browns, and buffs, which are all pale.
- Prepare the composition in advance by roughing it out in charcoal or using tonal sketches.
- Prior to painting something, lay out your palette and settle on the following order: skin tones, clothing, accessories, and landscape. Color tone/hue/purity in clothing may be adjusted when needed. To harmonise everything, you can need to make a lot of oil sketches.
- Use frontal lateral illumination. The use of a shadow pattern can help with composition.
- Ensure that your body does not move in lockstep with your head.
- Make the backdrop a neutral hue that isn’t really darker than the head’s shadows.
Specific Hints for Painting Portraits in Oil
There is no “right” solution, but several experts recommend anything along these lines:
- Beginning with the nose, paint shadows to describe the general structure.
- Lower the meaning in the lighted area’s lower half to support the highlights above.
- Have the muzzle region the same colour as the rest of the flesh, just a little darker.
- Where the shadow crosses the sun, add a splash of colour.
- Venetian red is a good substitute for raw sienna, which loses its intensity when exposed to white. These two colours, as well as white, can be used to paint hands and other objects.
- If you have a fair skin, use cadmium shades, and if you have a swarthy complexion, use earth colours.
- Shadows can be the same hue as the background.
- To make a region recede, add background colours to flesh tones.
- Hair has a similar tonal spectrum to eyes (light to dark) (highlight to pupil).
- Structures are picked up by highlights, and they must be finished on them.
- Begin with the shadows. Cadmiums combined with black/cobalt blue/ultramarine and umber provide effective shadows. If your face isn’t well-structured, add more shadows.
- Divide the mask into planes, then apply one-hued tones to each line and paint them in a distinct manner.
- Cold undertones can be seen in warm skin tones, and vice versa. Separate the bright and dark zones, though.
- Warmth comes from thick flesh, while cold comes from bone.
- Hot colours can be used to bring the cheeks and chin forward.
- Take a shadow colour and lighten its meaning while weakening its intensity/purity to create warm backgrounds.
- Create a cool backdrop by using a cooled grey colour to reflect the object’s turning planes. Cool with a little cobalt blue or raw or burned umber.
- Don’t let the context overwhelm the subject; instead, make it more neutral to allow the subject to stand out.
Many combinations are suggested, but if brilliancy is to be maintained, no more than three pigments plus white can be mixed. A little mixing is appropriate, but applying paint patches with flat or filbert brushes and leaving them alone is much easier. Since shadow areas are an extension of the lit side, use the same ingredients as the lit side but adjust the proportions slightly.
The following are abbreviations for the mixtures:
Titanium White = W Cad. Light Yellow =clY Cad. Yellow = cY Cad. Orange = cO
Cad. Light Red = clR Cad. Deep Red = cdR Alizarin Crimson = acR Permanent Rose = pmR
Venetian Red = vR Rose Doré = rdR Permanent Rose = prR Permanent mauve = pM
Yellow Ochre = oY Naples Yellow = nY
Cobalt Blue = cB Ultramarine = uB Prussian blue = pB Phalo Blue = phB
Cerulean blue = ceB
Viridian = vG Payne’s Grey = PG
Raw Sienna = rS Burnt Sienna = bS Raw Umber = rU Burnt Umber = bU
There are some of the suggestions used in books on portraiture.
General complexions: W + rS + clR + cB
Softer general complexions: W + rS + V / cB
Children’s complexions: W + nY + clR + vG
Medium dark (yellow) complexions: W + yO + bS + uB
Medium to dark complexions: W + rS + pmR + cB
Red hair: W + cO + bS + pmR + cB
Dark brown hair: W + cO + bU + uB
Black hair: B + M + U
Gray hair: W + uB + cB
These are taken from Parramon’s color schemes.
Warm Flesh Tints
Ordinary lit areas: W + clY + clR + pmR + cB
Lower lip & rosy areas: W + clY + clR
Highlights: W + clR + clY
Stubble: W + phB + cY + pmR
Blue-tinged shadows: W + phB +cY +pmR
Basic shadow: clR+ cO +phB + W
Darker shadow: clR + cO + cY + phB + pmR + W
Upper lip: pmR + vG
Eyebrows pmR +uB +phB +vG
Cold Flesh Tints
Ordinary lit areas: W + Oy + pmR + vG
Lower lip & rosy areas: W + oY + pmR + vG
Light luminous flesh: W + oY + vG
Stubble: W + oY + pmR + vG
Blue-tinged shadows: W + cB + cO + pmR +bS
Basic shadow: c Y + cO + vG + pmR + W
Darker shadow: vG V + W + pmR
Upper lip: cY + cO + vG + W
Eyebrows pmR + vG +phB/bS
Some of these may apply better to watercolors. Experiment.
Pale complexions: W + cO + pmR
Pinker complexions: W + cO + pmR + cB
Pale orange-pink complexions: W + cO + pmR
Golden complexions: W + bS + cO + vG
Mediterranean complexions: W + cO + bS + cB
Brown complexions: W + bS + cO + pmR
Chinese/ yellow complexions: W + cO + vG + bS
Deeper brown complexions: W + rU + bS + phB
Rich brown complexions: W + bS + cB
Cold black complexions: W + rU + phB
Warm black complexions: W + rU + phB + pmR
Very Dark Complexions
Body: ccR + rU + prB
Shadows: acR + prB / acR + vG / PG
Highlights: nY/cR + W / cB + W
Body: uB + cO + oY + cO + W
Shadows: rU /uB / rU + clR
Highlights: cY + W / clY + W / clR + W
Body: oY + W
Shadows: cdR + rU/ rS + cB/pM
Highlights: clY + W / cY + W / cB + W
Body: cO + rdR + W
Shadows: cdR + cB / acR + rU / cB + cdR
Highlights = W / nY / clY + W
The highlights and shadows colours are mixed in with the body colours. Vary the proportions or replace with identical colours if either of these variations offer you an unpleasant or unhealthy-looking skin colour (Alizarin Crimson in particular). Using Burnt Umber and a Blue instead of Raw Umber if you want to avoid ‘dead points.’
Oil paint shades
A Guide to Buying Oil Paints & Colours
If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you’ll know that there are a plethora of fabrics to choose from.
Even if you stick to a single medium, such as oils, you’re faced with a plethora of options, and it’s all too tempting to end up with a collection of paint tubes that never see the light of day, let alone the paint inside.
However, you do not need to spend a lot of money to get started with oils. In reality, starting with a limited number of materials would be much safer for you.
Choosing a Colour Palette
Here are the first eight colours I recommend using.
Each of the primaries (red, blue, and yellow) has a cold and warm version, as well as a couple of earthy browns. From this small collection, you will create hundreds (thousands!) of different combinations.
- Ultramarine Blue
- Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson or Quinacridone Rose
- Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna
- Lemon Yellow or Hansa Yellow
- Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) or Prussian Blue or Monestial Blue
- Titanium White
- Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna or Van Dyke Brown
- Cadmium Red or Vermillion or Scarlet Lake
Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red Hue, and Burnt Sienna are the ‘hot’ colours on the top side, from left to right.
Lemon Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose, and Titanium White are the ‘smart’ colours seen below, from left to right.
Owing to the high cost of Cadmium, Cadmium Red ‘Hue’ essentially means that a generic equivalent has been used. Most Student ranges are produced on a budget, while Artist quality is uncompromising, and the cost is expressed in the use of real pigments.
For more in depth information please also refer to below references:
Old holland classic oil colors
Old Holland was founded in 1664 by a group of Old Dutch master painters. We still use their recipes to render the colours centuries later. Except we do so using cutting-edge technologies. Old Holland is a well-known name by musicians all over the world. Our colours are used by artists and experienced restorers in more than 50 countries. And they know what they’re doing: Old Holland delivers just what you want.
Old Holland was founded in 1664 by a group of Old Dutch master painters. We still use their recipes to render the colours centuries later. Except we do so using cutting-edge technologies.
Colours made using ancient recipes
We continue to produce oil colours using the same conventional recipes and manufacturing methods as the Old Dutch masters. Nothing compares to the consistency, vibrancy, and intensity of the colours. What’s the proof? The splendour of our colours and pigments can still be seen in the works of the most prominent Dutch artists, such as Vermeer, Van Gogh, and Hals, in the world’s most prestigious museums.
Technology solidifies tradition
So, what do we do now? We use cutting-edge technology to optimise and develop our conventional manufacturing operation. Our pigments are a one-of-a-kind blend of the finest traditional colours and pigments. We used recently produced, lightfast substitutes to replace conventional pigments that were not lightfast or were no longer available on the market. These colours were assigned the label complement “special.”
The end product is high-quality pigment, watercolour, and acrylic paints. Our mediums, varnishes, solvents, primers, and gels are of the same high consistency.
Artists and restorers may use this brand
Old Holland is a well-known name by musicians all over the world. Our colours are used by artists and experienced restorers in more than 50 countries. And they know what they’re doing: Old Holland delivers just what you want.
Generations of inspiration
The paintings of the Old Dutch masters date back hundreds of years. You will also marvel at their beauty. For future generations, Old Holland immortalises your inventions. Since it is the timeless splendour of art that motivates and encourages one to use the best traditions to make the best colours from the best materials.
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