A Little Nocturne Oil Painting

A Little Nocturne Oil Painting

Click to view the painting.   A Little Nocturne Oil Painting by Damian Osborne   Light the scented candles, put on that old Chopin CD and pour another glass of red. I’m in the mood for a little nocturne oil painting. This scene made a very strong impression on me as I regarded the crescent moon hanging like a shining eyelash between the mountain buttresses one evening. It’s a little corner of wildness, this exposed section of the peninsula at the end of the mountain range, with incessant gale-force winds from the sea, slamming against the rock faces and my back.…

Underpainting Stage for a Self-Portrait

Underpainting Stage for a Self-Portrait

Watch this video on YouTube Underpainting Stage for a Self-Portrait — ‘Nigredo’  by Damian Osborne   1 | How do you begin the underpainting stage of a portrait painting? 2 | Can you oil paint directly over charcoal? 3 | Making my own oil paint from Bloodstone   In this self-portrait oil painting, I start with a charcoal drawing, then make my own oil paint from bloodstone for the underpainting stage of the painting. This is a self-portrait oil painting called ‘Nigredo’. It comes from a pretty dark place. Nigredo is the first stage of the alchemist’s journey. The putrification. Annihilation.…

How to Draw an Abstract Drawing

How to Draw an Abstract Drawing

Watch this video on YouTube   How to Draw an Abstract Drawing (Abstract Still Life Drawing from Nature) by Damian Osborne     1 | What is abstract drawing? 2 | What is the point of abstract drawing exercises? 3 | Why is doodling important? 4 | What are the benefits of doodling? 5 | What is automatic drawing? 6 | What is abstract realism? 7 | How do you draw an abstract still life drawing? 8 | How are artists inspired by abstract patterns in nature? 9 | Isn’t all art abstract anyway? 10 | What is the role…

What is Gesture Drawing?

What is Gesture Drawing?

  What is Gesture Drawing? by Damian Osborne   Gesture drawing is quick, free flowing, simplified sketching of the human form. The drawing sessions are usually timed from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. They are normally done from a live model, hence the term ‘life drawings’. Usually, the model is in the nude, as this allows the artist to really observe and study the anatomy of the human form.      Gesture drawing practice Gesture drawing practice is the basis for artists learning to draw the human figure. It is the practice of drawing from life, not photos.  You can’t…

Those Bad Drawing Days

Those Bad Drawing Days

  Those Bad Drawing Days by Damian Osborne   Yup, it’s a bad drawing day. Those days when you just want to stab the paper with your pencil, or press so hard with your charcoal that it breaks. You grimace and shake your head. You keep tearing out pages and tossing them behind you. Why can’t I get anything right? Why does her face look like it was smooshed by a bus? And why do her hands look like claws? Her eyes look like they can see each other; her legs look like penne pasta.  Have you ever felt like…

Painting the Figure – Part 1

Painting the Figure – Part 1

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Figure – Part 1 by Damian Osborne   This painting is actually part of my Siren Series. I have broken up this figure painting demo into 4 parts. So stay tuned for explanations of the various stages.    How do you start a figure painting with charcoal? Vine charcoal is the best medium for starting a figure painting because it’s easy to wipe away and make corrections to your drawing. It is also perfect for drawing on canvas. Unlike graphite, it is soft, and does not create the typical graphite sheen that…

Charcoal Underdrawing for an Oil Painting

Charcoal Underdrawing for an Oil Painting

Watch this video on YouTube   Charcoal Underdrawing for an Oil Painting by Damian Osborne   What is a charcoal underdrawing? A charcoal underdrawing is the first stage in traditional oil painting. In the classical method, doing a charcoal underdrawing on the toned canvas helps to quickly visualize the placement, composition and proportions of the subject before starting the painting stage. Using vine charcoal, it’s easy to wipe off and rework sections of the underdrawing. I love the tactile feeling of working with charcoal; smudging and blending with my whole hand, erasing with a rag, drawing with my fingers. Stepping…

Still Life Painting of Apples

Still Life Painting of Apples

  Painting a Still Life of Apples by Damian Osborne   I had a commission to paint a still life of apples for a collector, so I decided to share the process as a still life painting tutorial. I set up a rustic-looking grass bowl with pink lady apples and a pretty brown and blue pashmina on the table. Then I lit the still life with a spotlight to simplify the shadows but also made sure I could see the canvas I would be painting on. It was better to paint it at night when the room was dark, but…

Painting the Traditional Way – Part 2 – The Underdrawing

Painting the Traditional Way – Part 2 – The Underdrawing

  Painting the Traditional Way – Part 2 – The Underdrawing by Damian Osborne   After sizing, priming and toning the canvas, it’s time to begin the underdrawing! If you missed the first part, just go back and check it out quickly. In the previous chapter, I show how I prepare the canvas for the underdrawing stage.  I was commissioned to create an oil painting of a woman bathing in a tropical mountain pool. A waterfall and lush green foliage add to the peaceful ambience. The painting was destined for Australia, to a natural health clinic. So I wanted to…

Painting a Portrait with the Zorn Palette

Painting a Portrait with the Zorn Palette

  Painting a Portrait with the Zorn Palette by Damian Osborne   I gave a live portrait demonstration with the Zorn palette at the Blaauwberg Art Society in Cape Town. The model was my friend Rohan and the duration of the demo was about an hour and 20 minutes. It was quite intense giving a demo lesson to a room full of artists. Especially since I was trying to create a near enough likeness of Rohan in a really short time. And talk about my process while painting. And so, for my first ever live portrait demonstration, I learnt quite…