Making Graphite Oil Paint

Making Graphite Oil Paint

Watch this video on YouTube   Making Graphite Oil Paint — The Alchemical Journey Series — by Damian Osborne   1 | What is graphite actually? 2 | Can you mix graphite and oil paint 3 | When was graphite first used as an art medium? 4 | How does graphite black oil paint compare with other black pigments? 5 | How do you make graphite black oil paint? 6 | Did any of the Old Masters use graphite oil paint?   Continuing with my handmade paint series, The Alchemical Journey, I decided to experiment with graphite oil paint. Graphite black…

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.…

Final Stages of a Portrait Painting

Final Stages of a Portrait Painting

Watch this video on YouTube   Final Stages of a Portrait Painting — Nigredo by Damian Osborne   1 | What pigments will I need for painting a portrait? 2 | Should you add chalk to your oil paint? 3 | How do you mix colours for the Verdaccio? 4 | How many stages do you need for a portrait painting in oils?   Here are the final stages of a self-portrait painting I called ‘Nigredo’ (or the crucifixion). Using my own oil paints, I show a quick summary of the various stages of the portrait, beginning with the Verdaccio.…

The Siren Paintings

The Siren Paintings

  The Siren Paintings by Damian Osborne   “You will come to the Siren (paintings) first of all; they bewitch any mortal who approaches them.” —Homer, The Odyssey   Click on an image to view.   To view all figure painting archives, go to Figure Paintings.   Sirens You see, they sang to me in my own voice, how was I to know? They wove the gauze of waking sleep around my heart, I learnt to love the flightless yearning in their voices, carried on the wind from the island where they starve, for company, their wingfeathers lost to the Muses…

Weird Questions Beginner Oil Painters Ask

Weird Questions Beginner Oil Painters Ask

  Weird Questions Beginner Oil Painters Ask by Damian Osborne   1 | When does one do underpainting? And is that synonymous with a wash or blocking in? 2 | If you do an underpainting, what medium do you prefer to use? 3 | How many layers of oil paint can you pile on top of the underpainting? 4 | Do you paint an oil painting in subsequent layers by just adding more oil? Or is it more paint? 5 | Can I use acrylic under an oil painting? 6 | What is the difference between alkyd medium and linseed…

Alla Prima Portrait Study in Oils

Alla Prima Portrait Study in Oils

Watch this video on YouTube   Alla Prima Portrait Study in Oils by Damian Osborne   In this alla prima portrait study demo, I did an oil sketch of my sister in one sitting, using a limited palette. This quick oil portrait was done in my sketchbook, painting it wet-on-wet. I primed the paper with a basic white acrylic primer in order to paint my oil portrait studies. This is a great way to practice alla prima portrait painting in oils without the expense of canvas. Generally, an alla prima portrait sketch uses a limited palette (the Zorn Palette is…

Painting the Skin Tone – Painting the Figure – Part 3

Painting the Skin Tone – Painting the Figure – Part 3

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Skin Tone Painting the Figure – Part 3 by Damian Osborne   There are many styles, colour palettes and methods artists present and past used for painting the skin tone, and of course it won’t do to just mix a universal ‘flesh colour’. Although I like to study as much of the old masters and their palettes as I can, as well as living artists’ methods, colour mixing is pretty intuitive for me; I’m thinking more in terms of colour temperature and value than following someone else’s method, rules, or anything else.…

Painting the Halftones – Painting the Figure – Part 2

Painting the Halftones – Painting the Figure – Part 2

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Halftones Painting the Figure – Part 2  by Damian Osborne   So, what are halftones in oil painting exactly? After I painted the grisaille (or ‘dead layer’) in the first chapter of this series, I was left with a cool grey, almost bluish skin tone because of the cooling effect white has over the raw umber imprimatura. So now I need to consider the values (light and dark), the colour hues (what actual local colours I need for the skin tones), and what colour temperatures I want to use for the skin,…

Glazing Skin Tones in Oil Painting

Glazing Skin Tones in Oil Painting

Watch this video on YouTube   Glazing Skin Tones in Oil Painting by Damian Osborne   Glazing skin tones creates a transparent and beautiful glow of realistic looking skin that is impossible to achieve simply by direct painting methods. Following the classical Flemish method of oil painting, I have thus so far painted the imprimatura, the verdaccio, gone over the figure with terra verte, and completed the first semi-opaque flesh tone layer. You can follow these previous steps on my blog or on Youtube if you’ve missed them. Now comes the first glazing layer. Oooohhh… Ahhhhh..   What is glazing…

Painting the Flesh Tone

Painting the Flesh Tone

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Flesh Tone by Damian Osborne   After the verdaccio and going over the figure with terre verte, it’s time to start painting the flesh tone. I guess this is where it starts feeling like the real painting business is beginning to happen, with the underpainting stage complete. Now we are starting to work with a bit more with local colour. But I try not to fall into the trap of thinking one layer is less or more important than another.   What is the best colour for painting the flesh in oils?…

Painting the Verdaccio

Painting the Verdaccio

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Verdaccio by Damian Osborne   What is the verdaccio? Verdaccio is an Italian term for the greenish-hued underpaintings common to Early Renaissance Italian art. The root word ‘verde’ means green. In English we would say ‘verdant’. Back in the Middle Ages, when religious frescos and egg tempera paintings were mainstream, artists commonly applied a verdaccio layer as an underpainting. After painting the imprimatura and brunaille as I mentioned before, they knew that a cool, greenish tone in the underpainting would cause the flesh in their subjects to appear more realistic in the…

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…