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.…

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.…

Best Ideas for Oil Painting Every Painter Should Try

Best Ideas for Oil Painting Every Painter Should Try

Watch this video on YouTube Best Ideas for Oil Painting Every Painter Should Try by Damian Osborne   So, you’re wondering what you should paint? Here are some of my personal favourite ideas for oil painting: 1 | Landscape painting 2 | Seascape painting 3 | Still life painting 4 | Figure painting 5 | Self-portrait painting 6 | Painting portraits of your friends and family 7 | Painting animals 8 | Dreams, fantasy, mythological, allegorical and imaginary painting Throughout the history of painting, artists have found inspiration for their art from these universal and personal subjects.     What were…

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…

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 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,…

Final Stages of a Figure Painting in Oils

Final Stages of a Figure Painting in Oils

Watch this video on YouTube   Final Stages of a Figure Painting in Oils by Damian Osborne   Usually when I’m working on a figure painting in oils, I write down ideas I have about the painting and the next steps I should follow. So once the painting is dry after a few days, I can pick up from where I left off. My journal becomes quite important near the final stages of the painting, because this is when things really start coming together, and I want to be sure I’m getting things right and not forgetting stuff. I also…

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 Figure with Terre Verte

Painting the Figure with Terre Verte

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Figure with Terre Verte by Damian Osborne   What is Terre Verte? Terre Verte, or ‘Green Earth’, was commonly used from Medieval Times and through the Renaissance for the underpainting of flesh tones. The Romans used this pigment on their wall paintings even before then. The green is complimentary to the warm reds and pinks of the flesh and makes the skin appear more natural. The pigment is made from iron silicates and the most famous was mined in Verona, Italy. It’s a transparent, non-toxic pigment with a low-tinting strength and high…

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…

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…

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…