View Full Version : Mark (my first oil painting)

06-04-2005, 09:35 PM

Title: Mark (my first oil painting)
Year Created: 2005
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 11x14in
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Here\\\'s my very first oil painting. I have a feeling that the values aren\\\'t different enough and my experimentation with flesh tones and shaddow colours could likely use some advice. I worked from a tracing of a photo so can\\\'t take credit for the rendering of the figure. I could have done pretty much the same but was in a hurry to get to the painting (experimenting) part.

Since it is a WIP, please feel free to send it to that site. apologies :angel:

Please feel free to provide comments and suggestions freely to help me improve. I\\\'ll look forward to any and all feedback.

Rabbit Twilight
06-04-2005, 11:04 PM
Hi Violet! I think this a very good first attempt. You have captured what looks like a very nice person. It shows in how you've portrayed him. I don't do portraits, so I'll let those experts jump in. But, this is an excellent first oil.

06-04-2005, 11:14 PM
First off- this is a piece that shows great potential.

But you are stifling your creativity and are essentially painting by numbers when
you trace the image.

Judging by what you have started you have a lot of talent :)
Why not set this aside and start a new one-

I suggest that you look at your photo and find the most obvious and easy shape-
usually for me it is the iris of the eye. Once you have painted that add the next adjoining shape, the white of the eye then the glasses rim, and so on and so on- I think you will be THRILLED with the results!

Please post future work!

06-05-2005, 12:58 AM
It looks as if you have a wonderful start on this portrait and that it warrants some more work. I'd tie up the colours some, the yellow and purples could be expanded, and brought into the flesh tones. More shading and articulation on this friendly face and I think you'll have a winner.

06-05-2005, 03:00 AM
:wave: Thank you Rabbit Twilight, SMViolano and Pars for the lovely comments. First let me clarify something. I realized in my haste I stated that this was my first oil painting. In fact, it is my second. But it is my first painted *portrait*.

Rabbit Twilight, yes, the subject *is* a very nice person; he is my husband. :)

Yes, SMViolano, I knew i was *cheating* by beginning as I did with my *assisted* outline (but didn't the master's even do this? ... lol). Again, I was anxious to experiment with putting paint on the canvas to achieve that objective. I do promise though, I surely will do future ones as you suggest and truly *create*. :)

Pars, I would *love* to follow your suggestion but I thought I *was* ... lol. I have much to learn as to just how to accomplish that (and keep my *realist* husband happy lol - he'd wonder where he's green and yellow! lol). But I do know what you mean and hope to achieve that ability. And yes, again, he *is* a friendly as well as warm, caring person to whom I am eternally grateful for this time to explore my creative abilities. :)

06-05-2005, 04:34 AM
Hi Violet

I'm moving this to the WIP subforum, as suggested :)

The danger with starting from a traced drawing (or indeed any detailed drawing) is that one ends up "just filling up to the lines", and what you end up with is still a coloured drawing, rather than a painting. Using a drawing to give guidance for placement is OK, but painting is about using areas of colour, and shading, to create the illusion of solidity and three-dimensionality - and about trying to replicate the way the eye sees, rather than the camera. Concentrate sharp focus only onto those areas of maximum interest, soften "edges" which are really surfaces which curve away from us. Avoid the temptation to draw edges in line, but instead look at how the light is interacting with, and bouncing off, the surfaces. Don't be afraid of using darkness to get contrast, or of losing edges and detail into darkness.

Here's a photoshop demo showing how I might have developed this painting, with these sorts of thoughts in mind:


hope this helps.


06-05-2005, 06:56 AM
You've had good advice from some excellent artists. I would say practise drawing with pencil sketches and practise again and again. If you really must use a traing at this stage for the actual painting the fair enough, but please do find your freedom in that. Worry less about accuracy and put your feelings for the person into the brushwork. If you continue to practise then you can come to the stage where you will have the best of both and that's what portrait painting is about. You've made a very good start and I'll look forward to seeing more of your work.


06-05-2005, 10:29 AM
I knew i was *cheating* by beginning as I did with my *assisted* outline

I do fully understand the eagerness to place paint to canvas- it is fully addicting! :evil: When I first started painting I would just paint- and not work out the composition and design- the end result was a disaster every time after hours of work. But I just wanted to paint...

Please note also that I was not saying *cheating* - I was stating that you are taking the fun out of the work and the freedom of your talent is inhibited as you are a slave to the lines.

I saw your website and your colors are excellent- I am willing to bet that if you begin to trust your drawing ability you will see what I mean- it is like getting incredibly "high" without the drugs and the hangover!

I was just saying that with an outline you cannot express the artist within!

(And I am totally not opening up that can of worms about what the Masters may or may not have done LOL!!!)

06-05-2005, 09:25 PM
everyone ... thank you so much ... i've worked a bit more on it but think i'll set it aside for a bit for a while and then tackle those darks as you suggested dave ... what i've done already looks better ... and i think if it dries before i do more i might find doing what i need to do easier than painting wet in wet ... how do i go about bumping up my post if i wait until it's deep in the pages so you all will see it when i get it repostable? ...