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Oil Portraiture

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This page is devoted to painting a portrait in oil paint.  I suggest that before you explore painting a portrait, you spend some time drawing a portrait.  Check out my free art lessons on facial proportions and drawing the different features of the face.  So many people get frustrated when it comes to portrait creation. It can be frustrating when it is hard for you to capture the "likeness" of your subject.  By practicing drawing the portrait, you will improve in this area.  It is generally all about proportion and observation.  If you are still having problems, there is nothing wrong with using a method like the "grid technique" to help you get the basic information on your surface.

Color mixing is another area of frustration for some students.  I like to use this phrase that I made up.  It is quite silly but it gets the point across.  "Red, yellow, brown and white, that is how to make your skin tone right."  All skin tones come from mixing those colors.  You may need to mix other colors to represent light.  For example, you may mix blues with brown to make shadows. But in order to mix your base color, you just need to think about those four colors-red, yellow, brown, and white.  The best part about oil painting is that you have plenty of time to fix your skin tones because the paint will stay wet for a long period of time.

The following video art lesson shows you how to use oil paint to create a portrait



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