Realistic portrait painting has always been my favorite thing to do. However, getting a likeness can be a huge challenge due to simple mistakes. I’ll share with you a couple of the mistakes I made painting this portrait. I will also go over other common mistakes and helpful tips. This will help you to avoid some of the pain of painting portraits.
I’ve drawn and painted portraits of people and pets for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, I’ve been able to capture a likeness with most of my subjects.
The only time I have trouble with a likeness is when I make some basic mistakes. With this realistic portrait of Dr. Claude Pressnell, I started out the painting with an inaccurate drawing. That was my first mistake. I also had
Painting wrinkles and grey hair have their own unique challenges. I’ve loved drawing and painting wrinkles ever since I was a kid. The more wrinkles, the better as far as I was concerned. Wrinkles add a lot of interest and character to a portrait.
In my portrait painting tips article, I gave a basic 3 step process for painting wrinkles. In this article, I’ll go over 12 tips for painting wrinkles and grey hair including how to think about wrinkles in a different way. If you are intimidated about painting wrinkles,
One thing that I’ve learned in doing oil painting is there are a lot of terms such as alla prima that can be a little confusing. It was a term being thrown around by other painters I knew and I had no clue what it meant.
I have a clearer picture now but I thought I’d dive in a little deeper so I could answer any questions you may have.
First of all, the term alla prima is taken from the Italian phrase “at first attempt” and is a painting technique done in one layer in one sitting. The approach takes advantage of spontaneity and the artist must use their skill and intuition to match colors and value.
That seems simple enough, but there are a lot of other questions I had about this method of painting which I will share below.
Whether an artist should or shouldn’t sign their paintings seems to create a lot of confusion, especially for beginning artists. When do you sign it? Where do you sign it? Why should you sign it? These are all questions I’ll answer today.
Before getting into all the details, I’ll let you know a few basic things right now. An artist should always sign their paintings because it achieves 3 things:
It creates authenticity
Helps future collectors identify the work and
Gives the artist a sense of completion
Of course, there is much more to it than the list above. There is also how to sign, where to sign, what to sign and when to sign along
It’s always exciting to start a painting, but there are a lot of simple painting hacks that can make the process much easier. Below you’ll find 15 helpful painting hacks that I’ve used and some that other artists have shared with me throughout the years.
Helpful Painting Hacks #1 – Paint Upside Down
I learned this amazing trick decades ago, but continue to use it nearly every time I paint. When you look at your painting for too long, something bizarre
When I first started painting in oils, I wasn’t sure if I could paint oil paint over acrylic paint. There seemed to be a lot of rules about layering with oils and mediums and it was a little confusing.
I decided to take an oil painting class to make sure I was doing things the right way. During the class, I told a fellow painter I painted in acrylics for many years. She told me you CAN paint oil paint over acrylic paint, but never acrylic over oil. Why? Because paints with a higher oil to pigment ratio (fat) must always be layered over paint with a lower oil to pigment ratio (lean). After doing more research, I’ve found more useful tips and information when painting oils and acrylics that I think you’ll find beneficial, so keep reading.
Value may not seem like the most exciting topic to cover when creating art, but it is vital. It is the most fundamental aspect of any work of art. Value can make or break the structure of your work if you don’t get it right. Understanding value can improve your work dramatically.
“Duke” will be featured in an upcoming tutorial.
What is Value?
Value – along with line, color, shape, form, space, and texture – is one of the 7 visual elements of art. It is the range of tone between black and white (light and dark) that underlie color. Value indicates the source of light, the shape of an object and depth in space.
Think of it as taking a color picture on your phone and then changing it to black and white. You’ve desaturated the color out of the photo and are left with
Artists have been copying master paintings for centuries and for good reason – there is so much that can be learned! More than 25 years ago, I participated in a “Copycat” show at The Burkholder Project in Lincoln, NE where I shared a studio for awhile with several artists. As a successful working artist, Anne Burkholder has always been an inspiration for me and I loved being a part of her world.
The painting I chose to copy was “Breakfast In Bed” by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, 25″x 29″ oil on canvas painted in 1897. The title card above shows photos I took of the original painting which resides at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. I loved this painting