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…

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.…

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 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,…

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…

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…

Painting the Imprimatura

Painting the Imprimatura

Watch this video on YouTube   Painting the Imprimatura by Damian Osborne   Ok, so I’ve just completed the burnt umber imprimatura or brunaille. This is the second part of the figure painting I’m working on, called ‘Transformation’. If you missed the first part, go back and view the first video where I do the underdrawing. It shows how I begin the painting by toning the canvas and drawing the figure with charcoal.   What is the imprimatura in oil painting? Imprimatura means ‘First Painting Layer’ in Italian. Having a charcoal drawing on the canvas helps to get the design…

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 3 – The Dead Layer

Painting the Traditional Way – Part 3 – The Dead Layer

  Painting the Traditional Way – Part 3 – The Dead Layer by Damian Osborne   After completing the underdrawing in charcoal, and going over the lines with a burnt sienna imprimatura, it was time to refine the anatomy and work on the ‘dead layer’ or underpainting stage.   Refining the underpainting (the anatomy) In the next step, I started refining the underpainting a little more. Using burnt sienna, raw umber and some ultramarine blue, I refined the drawing of the woman’s anatomy, paying special attention to her spine and scapular, the trapezius muscle of the back, the buttocks and…

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…