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Old 05-17-2006, 01:40 AM
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snoopy7767 snoopy7767 is offline
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Lightbulb lips in oil painting



Ok well I have a question how to you paint lips ? Do you only use the shadow in the middle of the lips? I am making a female portrait and I just want the lips to be real like and stand out... Any pointers? Thank you
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:27 AM
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FortChaos FortChaos is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Everyone has their own technique...and I've never actually sat down and thought about how I do what I do. But here's what I've come up with. Hope it helps.

I think what's most important to remember is that the mouth is constructed of five muscles, three on the upper lip and two on the bottom. Each person's mouth is unique, but all have that basic structure.

In most lighting, the upper lip is darker than the lower lip. The bottom of the lower lip also carries a heavier shadow.

As far as color mixtures go, for the upper lip I mix ivory black and white to make gray, then add Cadmium Red Light. For the line between the lips I add Permanent Alizarin Crimson to the upper lip mixture.
For the lower lip (natural color) I mix White, Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red Light (more red than yellow). As the lower lip darkens, I add Permanent Alizarin Crimson. Where the lower lip is lighter, I use Cadmium Red Light and White.
For women wearing red lipstick, I mix Grumbacher Red (a proprietary name for Napthol Red) into the mixtures, or glaze with Alizarin Crimson after the lips have dried. A glaze will always give you more color and a sense of depth.

For men, I use Venetian Red or Light Red instead of Cad Red Light for the mixture.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:25 AM
SilverLady SilverLady is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Fort Chaps, thanks for the tip on painting lips. I am still determined on day to paint my daughter.

I am reading all about portrait painting.

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Old 05-17-2006, 11:20 AM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Hi! Great tips from FortChaos! To those I would add that it's very important to "anchor" the corners of the mouth "into the head." The upper lip goes from being outward-moving in the center area with the three muscles, but toward the edges, most lips turn under and inward. Unless someone has very strongly colored and carefully edged fresh lipstick, you will see softer edges at either corner of the lower lip. Just as well, in most cases, to let those outer edges of both upper and lower lips soften out and perhaps even nearly disappear. This is one of the things which can even more support the "look" of real lips.

The best "trick" to painting ANYTHING is to carefully observe! IRL. In real life!

As with any other item being painted, be extremely aware of the varying planes---and how each plane receives and reflects light or is turned away from the light in some way.

Another very important thing is to NOT look at items in your subject matter as Objects. This takes you away from the intuitive and usually has people painting what they THINK they know and now what is there to be seen. Look at your subject as SHAPES OF COLORS. Too many have a sense of lips as some sort of valentine heart. Nope.

And, of course, there are many pigments which can be used. It's great for many artists to have a "general" formula that serves most situations-----always prepared to alter as needed in any given visual situation.

Hopefully, we are all working from subjects which are well-lit! Good lighting, appropriate-for-the-mood, etc. is sooo important to make our subject "sing" its best! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:15 PM
charles51 charles51 is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Donna's advice is good. Observation IS the key. I usually begin with a darker red line to denote the separation between upper and lower lips, paying close attention to the way the line ends at the corners of the month. Unless the subject is wearing vivid lipstick, the lips are usually less red than most students paint. The underside of the upper lip is usually darker (being in shadow). I try to paint each lip with a generous single stroke and then cut back into the lips and refine their shape with surrounding flesh color. The red color lessens and mostly disappears near the corners of the month. Simple blending usually accomplishes this by painting the local skin color right onto the lip color. Sometimes I need to add a darker accent right at the corners, usually a dark warm red. Only after I'm satisfied with the look, shape, and color of the month do I add the highlights, usually a spot of light pink on the lower lip. The highlight is a one-shot deal. Put it down and leave it alone. If it doesn't look right, paint it out and try again.

These are only general observations, and how lips actually appear can vary. Trust what you see!

One more thing...the mouth is not usually symetrical, especially if the subject's head is turned. This requires carefully comparing where the month begins and ends relative to other facial features, as well as it's distance between nose and chin. As in all anatomy drawning... compare, compare compare.

Last edited by charles51 : 05-17-2006 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:24 PM
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Eduardo Flores Eduardo Flores is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Your description of how painting lips, as well the other general points, are extremely well placed; I would like just resume the issue in a more "scholastic" way.
1) Upper and lower lines: hard edges in the center, soft edges up to the corners.
2) Central line: hard including corners. So, corners will be defined by an hard center, with soft areas up and down.
3) Resuming, paint the soft edges blending the lip colour into the surrounding flesh tone so they won't look pasted on. It is all right to have a well defined line at the center of the mouth, but soften the edges as they near the outside corners of the lips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna A
The upper lip goes from being outward-moving in the center area with the three muscles, but toward the edges, most lips turn under and inward. Unless someone has very strongly colored and carefully edged fresh lipstick, you will see softer edges at either corner of the lower lip. Just as well, in most cases, to let those outer edges of both upper and lower lips soften out and perhaps even nearly disappear. This is one of the things which can even more support the "look" of real lips.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:08 PM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Hi, Eduardo! Thank you! And then1+2)----just not toooooo hard! And then 3)----YES!

And---I have a web site that you might find interesting for your astronamy interests: http://http://www.wpo.net/ My daughter's gentleman friend----and she redesigned his web site. I find it fascinating, since I am also very interested in astonomy! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:47 AM
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Eduardo Flores Eduardo Flores is offline
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Re: lips in oil painting

Hi Donna!

I visited both sites, the astronomical one and yours.
Regarding the first, I was impressed by its layout, the equipments and its feeling of culture and peace; they must have a wonderful sky there! As far as my sky is concerned, here in Cuiabá, it is milky and "well lighted", so the good telescope I built with great effort can be used only for brillant objects, and I must relay on pictures taken by others, through the internet. I have a large collection of them, all very good.

From your site, I got the impression that you have a great technique, an immense love for colour and shapes, and are able to transmit this love to the observer.
What impressed me the most was "Clouds at Vespers", with its tri-dimensionality, the light, movement and softness of the clouds, and the dynamic presence of the dark foreground. Sincerely, you are great!

My best wishes, Eduardo
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