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DIY : Oil Painting – Portrait

Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 at 10:44 am

I didn’t make of tutorial or something like that, didn’t want to teach you to do this and that (in fact, I’m still in the learning process), just want to share, if you want to draw, draw from your inner heart, that better…

So, for the equipment,

Basic color tube, canvas, several variation of brush, palette knives (Palette knives are for mixing paint on the palette or applying large amounts of paint to the canvas.), turpentine (special turpentine for oil painting) and linseed oil are used to thin the paint. And for finishing, varnish (Varnish is a final layer applied to a painting after it is finished and completely dry. It’s used on paintings that are not going to be framed under glass to protect them from dirt, dust, and pollution in the environment. Varnish also homogenizes (evens out) the final appearance of a painting, making it all equally glossy or matte. Source : )

A palette is essential for mixing paint.

I found this article is a good information for beginning, just for  sharing, but you can skip

Source :

In oil painting when do you use turpentine versus linseed oil?

First, linseed oil does not thicken paint. Quite the contrary, adding more oil eventually leads to a runny consistency. Adding small amounts can be useful for achieving certain effects, thinning the paint is one of them.

Now, your under-painting should not have any extra oil added to it. The remaining options are to use paint straight from the tube or to reduce the viscosity (thin it) with one of three solvents (turpentine, mineral spirits or spike oil of lavender which sounds like an oil but it is a strong solvent like turpentine).

The idea is that the under-layers are comprised of the least oil so they dry faster than the subsequent layers applied on top of them. Solvents like the three mentioned have the benefit of evaporating quickly so all that remains is the thin layer of paint. You do a thinned wash block-in to layout the general masses of the composition.

Some people try to avoid using the three solvents in an effort to avoid the fumes or odor. An option that avoids these three solvents is to use paint straight from the tube but to spread it onto the canvas very thinly. You essentially scribble the paint onto the canvas using a brush as you would color using a color crayon. The result will be a scribbled/sketchy block-in. The technique is known as “scumbling.” This first layer of paint will not have extra oil and it will also be thin because you have stretched out a small amount of paint over a relatively large area.

In oil painting there is a rule “fat over lean” that refers to the oil content. The rule addresses the different rates at which each layer dries. You want the under-layers to dry first. If they dry slower than the outer layers, the outer layers will wrinkle and crack. The percentage of oil in the paint affects the drying rate. The reason you do not want to add oil to the under-layers is that the extra oil will prolong the drying rate of the layer. Although you are not required to increase the percentage of oil in subsequent layers, this rule must be followed if you do have a reason to add oil to your mixtures during the paint application stage. To restate this in different words, You could paint a painting never adding additional oil at any stage as long as you keep the first layers spread thin. Using additional oil by itself or in a medium may be desired. There are a variety of characteristics that this imparts on the paint. If you choose to add extra oil in these forms they should only be added in the outer/final layers. You never want to use a medium or extra oil in the lower layers.

Oil paint is comprised of the vehicle for pigment……an oil, the pigment and varying additives which could include stabilizer, chalks, waxes, drying agents. The most common oil has been linseed oil. Other oils are sometimes used such as safflower, poppy and walnut. The ratio of oil to pigment is important and each pigment has different properties. Adding too much oil can dilute the paint so much that its integrity is compromised which would result in a weakened paint film that may not cure properly along with a list of other negative side effects. The use of additional oil can be used to enhance paint flow, brushability, translucency, etc. It is also important to note that it is not necessary to use the same oil as that in a given brand of paint. Safflower oil is becoming as common as linseed oil. You can use linseed oil with any other oil. The attributes of each oil are blended.

The main thing to think about when using turpentine in a mixture is that it is a thinner. A common ingredient in a medium is stand oil. It is thick like honey and needs to be thinned. A common medium is made with linseed oil, stand oil and one of the three solvents listed earlier.

Turpentine is also good for cleaning paint brushes. It will removed dried paint in the brush. Mineral spirits also can be used to clean your brushes but it only removes wet paint. Now because turpentine is so good at removing dried paint, using too much when painting will remove some of the paint in your lower layers so you have to watch out for this. The third solvent mentioned, spike oil of lavender is the strongest and it also evaporates the slowest of the three. It is very expensive and should only be used for mixing directly with you paint or in a medium. Do not waste it by cleaning brushes with it although it would clean them quite thoroughly. This slower evaporation rate can be useful.

Learning the specific characteristics of your materials will greatly enhance your options in painting. Everything has an effect. Knowing what is used to achieve an effect allows you to make informed decisions that lead to a desired result. Ultimately you want to pull together skills and materials to create something like pulling out a recipe and the ingredients to bake a cake. In either case you don’t do so well if you hope things come together by accident.

– End of Information-

I start with basic pencil sketch, some artist prefer to make detail sketch, that’s good, but I’m too lazy for that, I rather like to detailing my work next with color. The first layer of paint is applied as a thin wash, I put some basic color, character and background, lets it dry…

Playing with the shadow, use a little black to adjust face, background and clothing…

Do more adjustments in the face.

Focus on eyes and nose, mix the color until get the right tone, need more patient…

Adding more details at the hair, mouth and ear, try to balance the shadow between skin and shadow, to make color layers smooth, I used my fingers tip. Adjust body posture.

To make cloth and hair more realistic and lively and not just a flat black color, I mix a few of blue and black, then, balance it with light and contrast, lets it dry…

I love this part, color the tree or green thing, make me excited,  you should try, just put your feeling on it, lets it dry…

Back to background…put more details…

Once again, more details on the face…

Make sure painting completely dry, then apply the varnish oil, put the frame and done!

Motivation: What important is, don’t give up and don’t be hesitate, this your arts, be proud

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