How to paint an oil portrait - a Stars Portraits tutorial

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How to paint an oil portrait

by wisewyn

How to paint an oil portrait

Author : wisewyn

Tutorial submitted on July 29, 2012

How to paint Ava Gardner's oil portrait on canvas? In this tutorial, Wisewyn describes all the steps of her painting process. The result is outstanding, check it out now!


Tutorial by Sofia Marques (Wisewyn)

I use flax based canvas. The final size is 40 x 50 cm. For each step, I take about 30 to 60 minutes, so I do a portrait in about 5 to 8 hours average.

Step 1

First I draw in pencil on the canvas.


Step 2

Then I add the first highlights flesh color.


Step 3

Then entour these highlights with darker flesh color.


Step 4

And again, darker.


Step 5

Now add the darker details, sépia color or black. Ad the eye balls details, darker shadows from the lips.


Step 6

This step: add color to the lips. Not too heavy, add shine, pure white color, apply the green color to the iris.


Step 7

Now, all colors are more or less applied, it´s time to start to blend with soft brush.


Step 8

And blend...


Step 9

Apply details to the eye lashes, add highlights and blend more, do the nose shadows.


Step 10

Face is almost done, now apply the neck shadow and start the hair.


Step 11

Now apply flesh color to the rest of the body.


Step 12

Do the hair shadows, start the dress, almost same color as dress (sépia = van dyke Brown).


Step 13

Finish the dress, blend the flesh on the body with soft brush.


Step 14

Start the background. Not too heavy color… mix the colors used with a bit of cobalto blue. Makes a soft green/grey that will highlight her green eyes.


Step 15

Finish the hair details and add other details.


Step 16

Now paint the nails (not too heavy…), paint the jewelery and the fleece.




See the finished portrait | See wisewyn's gallery

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