Pet Portrait Process

I thought I’d post a bit of my process for painting a portrait in oils. Or, at least, a step-by-step guide to my basic stages.

Stage 1ish: The drawing and toning.

I usually draw my composition directly on the panel or canvas. I tone the board with a careful brushing of matte medium , then matte medium toned with burnt umber. This time, because of all the hair, I scratched and rubbed out areas that would be highlights or heightened.  I figured that would help me in the long run. I was sort of right…

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Step 2ish: Block in render to umber/ultramarine shadows. 

There is a step missing before this. I blocked in the color using glazes so that the umber lent it’s warm tone to everything. Then-Using one of those handy hair/grass brushes you see in the art supply store, I went to town on the hair.

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Step 3: Fluffing up the hair/ more rendering. 

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Step 4: More shadows, more hair, and I’m seeing stars.

I went tighter on the face, deepened the shadows to obscure edges, and casually messed around.

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Step 5: More shadows and more hair.

I wasn’t happy with the hair yet, so a combination of lights and darks as well as falling back into the original hair pattern helped get it back on track. No more messing about!

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Face detail after loads or rendering.

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Step 6: The final leg.

This is where I tool about; making sure my values are in balance. I found this board to be poorly prepared- the surface was too rough for finer details, but I did what I could.

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Finished???

I’ll keep it in the studio for another month, messing around with it as I see fit. More or less, I see it as finished. After all- My name is now on it! 😉

Stewie and Bunny218 4000810

 

Published by Lucas Nickerson

Lucas Nickerson is a world recognized Portland-based fine artist. He specializes in whimsical work featuring animals, puns, and portraiture.

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