Art Lesson 54, Part 2
Discover How to Paint a Portrait
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How to Paint Skin Tones in Oils
It’s high time to return to the darkest part of the portrait. You can see that we are working on the portrait part by part, constantly coming back to the previous areas so that to keep on simultaneously with the whole portrait. The side of the cold shade will benefit from a warmer tone on the top of the portrait. To the effect we use Naples Yellow mixed with Buff Titanium and Burnt Sienna.
The portrait is almost complete by now. There are all the necessary tone nuances in the picture – lights, shadows and cast shadows. The portrait is painted in mid-tones. In order to increase the expressiveness of the painting and to add a vibrant look to it, we shall not only emphasize some colors and tones but also intensify the contrasts.
Adjustments of tones would give the picture deeper contrasts, while using more vibrant colors will add more expressiveness. To add a little black or brown to the flesh color in order to make the shadows darker is not always enough. To make the highlights the white color out of the tube will not do either. So, use your imagination and to freedom of self-expression when working with color. Paint what you know and feel rather than what you see.
The aim of the art is something more than a mere mechanical representation of the reality. So when painting a portrait, think of the final result, as an art not as a simple photographic reproduction.
When painting a portrait you observe the model and your task is to translate from the language of the reality into the language of the art. In order to get picturesque effect one should apply his skills according to his imagination. Not simply depict the sitter.
We have to mention that in some cases when you have the task or niche of painting in photo-realistic way, the closer you get to the nature the more photo-realistic picture would become. In our case we do not try to make a portrait in a super-realistic style. This provides us with the freedom of self-expression in colors and tones. If you have the purpose of making the picture in pre-photographic style, try to imagine yourself in that era; in your mind go back to the times when photography didn’t exist.