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OIL PAINTING TIPS || The Mind of an Artist #6

OIL PAINTING TIPS || The Mind of an Artist #6



all right welcome back friends so in today's video I'm gonna walk you through a small portrait study I just finished and this time I'm gonna focus on some of the technical aspects I'll try my best to tell you all about the details of the painting process but also give you a glimpse into the mind of an artist so I get the suggestion to paint this photo of this lovely looking Instagram lady here and it reminded me a lot of cosplayers who dress up as their favorite characters so I thought to myself why not this should be fun back when I was starting out as a professional artist I was actually working on an idea for a series of paintings depicting cosplayers but for various reasons I never got around to realizing that concept so this was a nice little throwback unfortunately the reference photo wasn't really what one would normally use as a reference for a painting it's grainy with really bad lighting and the skin tones have little to no variation in color working with such references basically the equivalent of having bread chicken and cheese and trying to make a sandwich with that I mean it's technically not impossible but it's definitely not optimal and the end result probably won't be the mind-blowing sandwich that one would love to have now as you know I don't mind a challenge but this was even hard for me and the reason for that is that I painted this painting on what probably is the worst most annoying and most frustrating piece of canvas panel you can imagine so on top of only having Brett's chicken and cheese I also got a fork instead of a knife to work with the canvas panel I used for this painting is from a different company than the panels I used in previous videos and it's nothing short of horrible at least for the purposes of this painting it's probably primed with the absolute cheapest white acrylic paint out there it was absorbing the paint so fast that while I was painting the colors constantly kept changing which makes it almost impossible to paint properly the colors also always dried a lot lighter than what I was mixing which is also extremely frustrating but in any case as you will see I pulled off a decent painting in the end but let me tell you working with this panel was quite frustrating so for this painting I'm also using a pretty limited set of materials and maybe using four brushes in total three flat brushes and one small round brush and that's it I'm also using a pretty limited palette I'll include the colors that are used for this painting in the description below but and maybe only use five colors plus black and white I have also barely used any painting medium for this painting I only used a bit of safflower oil mixed with Gail kits when I painted the background so I start the painting by painting the darkest parts of the most important features of the face and for that I'm using black paint straight from the tube so so much for all the people out there saying you shouldn't use black paint I honestly have no clue where this idea came from but of course you can paint with black paint use it as much as you want in fact you even have to use it if you want a painting that has a rich contrast using black in the darkest areas of a painting always kicks up the contrast now granted we rarely see pure black in the real world but who cares about the real world we're creating art here since there isn't much detail in the reference photo I have to make up a lot as I paint so I often find myself painting from experience rather than reference as for the eyes one thing to note is that the white of the eyes is never white it's actually almost always a pretty dark gray it will only look white once I start to put down all the color surrounding it so I focus a bit on the eyes and try to make the gaze look as intriguing and interesting as possible before I move on to the other areas of the face next I paint the shadow areas of the face which in this case look really light as I've mentioned before the reference doesn't have good lighting the shadows are almost as bright as the half tones and the highlights this kind of lighting situation usually isn't the best material to work with it's actually what we want to stay away from when paint a realistic painting you can't really create the illusion of volume when there's no distinction between light and shadow usually you can work around this by creating volume with color and by emphasizing color differences but my reference didn't have much of that either so I do a lot of the work here by painting what I know rather than what I see and I exaggerate all the colors I see if one area looks slightly warmer than another I will exaggerate it and by that create a much clearer distinction between warm and cool areas after putting down all the skin tones while making sure to put the emphasis on color variation rather than accuracy I fill out the hair which puts all the skin tones in context as you will later see the colors will actually change dramatically once I introduced the background which is where would always advise everyone to build up all the parts of a painting equally introducing such a big element of the painting in the end can change how everything looks so much that you have to repaint most of what you've done but since I've been doing this for a while now and I know what to expect and how well the colors will change it's not that big of a deal for me now at this point I've established most of the important areas of the painting the proportions are correct the colors are okay there's not much depth but again this painting isn't really about that so what I do is I let everything dry before I go back to rework and finish the painting at the beginning of the second session i repaint the eyes there are no major changes happening here but i clean up some of the edges and i correct some proportions and i also make sure to punch up the contrast next i go on to repaint the other areas of the face now I'm not completely repainting everything although in this case since the cameras I'm working on is so shitty I ended up repainting most of what I painted the fact that the colors kept changing made it nearly impossible to match the colors so I had to repaint some of the areas as a whole as you can notice there aren't many major changes happening here this part of the process is a bit like watching a cake rise in the oven you can see that it's changing but it will only become apparent how much it has changed once you compare it to how it looked in the beginning I'm basically just correcting some of the shapes while focusing on making everything look harmonious rather than like the reference material painting something to look exactly like the reference material probably is one of the most pointless things you can do even if your goal is to paint for – realistically whatever you paint will always be viewed and judged on its own it's not like your art is displayed with the reference next to it it doesn't matter how close something looks to the reference material a painting always has to stand on its own so next I make some adjustments to the air I'm not changing too much since most of what I had already painted was actually quite accurate and then what I do is I introduced the background color now as I've mentioned before introducing such a significant element of the painting this slate will dramatically alter the look of everything you already paint it it's just the nature of how perception works depending on the context colors look different knowing this of course can be pretty useful especially if you consciously want to alter the perception of a particular element of a painting you can make areas look cooler or warmer depending on the colors you put next to them so after having suggested the background I have a better idea of how the finished painting might look like so I go back for some final adjustments before I paint the entire background and introduce some abstractions or how I sometimes like to call them glitches so I lay in the background and start contrasting abstractions with the realism and although I introduce imperfections to the painting I still try to create a balance between all the elements there's actually a science to this but I've been doing this for so long that I'm just doing it by intuition it's something that happens naturally and you get a better feeling for it the more you do it and last but not least I go on to paint the part of the shoulder that I deliberately left out the whole time and I'm sure some of you were already wondering what that was all about well the thing is I had to wait until all the other elements are in place in order to paint the tattoo on the shoulder I know it's tempting to paint such an interesting and major element right away but whenever you can emulate something from the real world in a painting it's actually also best to do that so when you have something that's painted written or tattooed on skin it's actually best to do exactly that paint the element on finished skin now there are some exceptions to this rule and a much better way of expressing this would actually be to always paint the most complex layers last but generally speaking whenever you can emulate the natural order of layers it's usually also the best approach to do that another example of this would be writing on paper or prints on a shirt you paint the paper or the shirt first and then put on the writing or the prints and with the last element of the painting in place all that's left for me to do is make some minor adjustments here and there so do I wish the reference for the painting was better yeah do I wish the canvas panel wasn't the shittiest thing in the world of course but here's the thing working with these limitations is actually what makes us grow the most sure it can be frustrating and hard sometimes I can't tell you how much the canvas panel annoyed me but it's situations like these that force us to find new ways to solve problems it takes us out of our comfort zone and ultimately teaches us new things that will come in handy in the future will it be the greatest painting you ever painted well I don't know probably not but that's also not surprising I mean let's go back to our sandwich analogy what can you do with bread chicken and cheese the greatest scent which ever I mean maybe someone can but most of us can't but what we can do is learn how to perfectly cook the chicken or for example find new ways of cooking cutting or combining things I mean when you have limited ingredients you have to get creative and that's what we want that's what will ultimately help us in the future when we don't have any limitations that's when all these experiences will pay off and allow us to hopefully finally make that damn perfect sandwich but with that being said guys we're gonna bring this video to an end thank you all so much for watching please hit like subscribe if you're not already a subscriber and yeah have a good one [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I love hearing you discuss your art process! I wish more artist would do this. Also, kind of lighting do you use for videos such as this one and photos you take of your work. Thank you! 😊

  2. You’ve mentioned this before but I really love how you focus on the work as an interesting piece of art instead of doing what might be technically correct in life. I think a lot of classically trained people focus on technique and what’s “right” that they forget about creativity and having a unique vision.edit: also, I always hated oil painting and your videos almost single handedly got me doing it and actually enjoying it. Thank you for the content!

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