Art Lesson 43, Part 9
Discover How to Paint a Girl Portrait
Learn how to paint like the Old Masters!
Old Masters Academy Online CourseSelf-study, self-paced online video course Lifetime membership One-time payment: $487 Enroll Now!
Final Stage of a Portrait Painting
The final touches must be done to help show the painting in its most excellent light. The shawl is very rich in design and color – it has a range of warm and cold nuances in its palette. To emphasize the warmth of the shawl against the extremely cold blue dress we are adding warmer yellowish tint between the red patterns. It is truly amazing how a two-dimensional surface can create the illusion of depth and distance using just color, skills and imagination. If you adhere to the simple rules for creating a piece of art with oil painting, you could learn or improve your painting skills in a very fast and efficient way – just do everything in the right order. And please don’t rush; you are not participating in a competition about who is the faster painter. You can improve gradually, picture after picture; with each art work your skills will get better and better without a doubt.
It seems that the portrait is already done but there is room for improvement. Let’s add a new layer of fine glazing to the lips. Using a very bright mixture of Winsor Red, a semi-transparent pigment, and Cadmium Red, which is opaque. The mixture itself turned practically opaque. There is the opinion among some artists that you can glaze only with transparent pigments. This is quite true, but it is only one part of the truth. The fact is you can do glazing with all types of pigments – whether they are transparent or opaque. The key factor is the medium and the quantity of it you are using. In this example of glazing the lips in the portrait, we are making a very fine and transparent glazing by diluting the opaque mixture of paints with a generous quantity of Liquin Fine Detail. As you see, the glazing becomes very transparent and you can see the form of lips through it.
Now we are going through the process of constructing the shape of the dress in more depth. The folds that are placed in a perspective where we can see their depth should be painted accordingly – you should try to show the depth using intensity of color deep between the folds.
You could come back to the painting again and again in your wish to achieve perfection. This is a very praiseworthy desire. But be aware of the possibility of overdoing the work on the way to absolute perfection. You should know when to stop. Perfection IS achievable. If you can’t achieve it in your current art of work, you will definitely achieve it in the next one!