Art Lesson 49, Part 6
How to Paint a Self Portrait Using a Mirror
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Finishing a Portrait Painting
This part of the video is dedicated to finishing the portrait. All the major steps are completed by this time and the portrait is almost ready. But as you can see, there is still room for improvement.
Let’s add some bright and vivid color spots, to make the portrait colorful and picturesque.
For this purpose we use Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Yellow Deep. The shadow painted with this paint mix is warm in color and expressive. It goes well with the bluish tones of the skin and the cold color of the background.
It is quite important to keep the right balance of cold and warm colors in the painting. When the balance is right the painting looks harmonious. This is especially true when it comes to combining the warm and cold color nuances of the human skin. Skin painted only in warm or cold colors would not look natural. However, this approach might work for decorative artworks.
The shadow side of the body looks generalized and flat, while the mid-tone has an effect of transparency. All that is needed is to indicate the anatomical shape of the body and to strengthen the shadows under the arm.
It is possible to continue painting indefinitely, looking for perfection. There are some artists who find it very difficult to stop. They can return to the same painting for years to come. But the truth is that continued work will not necessarily improve the painting. To learn when to stop is an art in itself. It is important not to overdo the painting in the search for perfection.