I woke up this morning feeling so overwhelmed by this series and by the entire studio makeover, because I just realized that I am forcing things when it comes to my brand and my colour scheme and all the other stuff when it comes to an art business. And I lost sight of what is actually the most important, which is the art.
And I constantly felt forced to create these paintings that match my brand colours and I chose these particular brand colours because I wasnt sure that the world would accept me for who I am which is this dark chick who likes to wear black and has a lot of tattoos.
And so I ended up creating this marshmallow monster on my instagram and on you tube, if you would have a look at my recent thumbnails and also in some of my videos I would wear wigs in order to come across as more presentable for you guys. And while I still think the colours I chose are pretty and everything, it’s just not me and I can’t keep forcing myself to create works in this colour palette, because you’re going to end up picking up that resistance in my work, which means that the work isn’t going to be that great.
Have a look at last week’s video as an example. I think you could clearly see there that based on that painting I am not naturally inclined to using a pastel colour palette.
And I have heard so many times before that it is so important to build your brand when it comes to your art and I totally agree with that, because you want to attract a tribe that actually likes all of your work or at least the feeling of your work, because in this way, you’ll end up attracting people who actually look forward to your next painting, instead of just having people see one of your paintings, like it but then move on with their lives and forget about you.
I also feel like it’s way too early in my art career to be thinking that i cannot change things. I just became a full time artist about 7 months ago and I am of course going to have to find my own way when it comes to my art style and everything. The main reason why I create these art blogs in between my painting tutorials is also to share my journey as an artist with you guys and to also help you along the way when it comes to your own art.
And if you’re in a position where you don’t know your artist style or don’t know the direction that you want to go in with your art, I think that’s totally fine and I think you should remember that it is a journey at the end of the day. I think that is one of the reasons why art is so special because it constantly calls you to the moment and it can never be rushed and it has no time frame or time limit. That is also why it is so valuable in my opinion. It’s more than just a picture. But that is a whole other video.
I am very excited about it because as soon as I asked wait.. what the hell are you doing? This isn’t you… I started feeling so relieved and immediately less stressed about everything.
Especially because my art promotes being yourself and not comparing yourself to other stuff you see on social media, whether it’s models or other people’s art or whatever. Funny enough, I originally got inspired to do this when I saw my own overwhelm when I was looking at other artists’ work and perfect hair and perfect everything. I feel that I want to be true to this message, I am definitely going to have to do this in my own unique way.
So with that all being said, let’s dive into an oil painting tutorial! I’m going to show you
How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners
You will need some quinacridone red, burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre, sap green, white and orange oil paint.
To start with, you’ll mix your base colour, which you will constantly work from. For the base colour I used quinacridone red, yellow ochre, orange and white.
Once you’re done mixing the base layer, you can start focusing on small areas at a time and try and see what other undertones that specific area has.
As you can see here, I have already added the first layer, which is the same as what I’m going to be doing in the second layer. Seeing that it was a gold canvas that I worked from, the surface was a bit more smooth than what I am used to so the paint turnt out a bit patchy. But this is totally fine, seeing that we are now going to smooth things out in this second layer of paint.
If you’re starting out with your portrait, I would like to recommend that you do the same as I did here, where you blot out the main areas of light and shadow in the first layer, because it will just make it way easier to focus on adding more detail in the second layer.
A good idea is to do a wash in burnt sienna where you mix some turpentine with your burnt sienna and just focus on the light and dark tones by painting everything in burnt sienna first. The reason why we choose burnt sienna with this is because it is a translucent kind of paint which means that it lets a lot of light through behind the paint, which is great, because if you’re going to be working in layers, it will give your painting that inner glow.
I just decided to make use of a mixture of burnt sienna and the base colour which I have mixed for the first layer because honestly, I was too damn excited to get started on this gold canvas and also it brings the same kind of warmth that burnt sienna would bring. And this turnt out great by the way. I highly recommend that you try this canvas by Frederix out. It really creates a mood for your painting and brings so much warmth to it, which is great for when you’re painting skin.
Alternatively you can also paint your canvas with gold paint. For this you can use acrylic paint or a wash of oil paint, since you can paint over acrylic paint with oil paint.
Just remember that with your first layer, you’ll want to add a bit more turpentine to your paint mixture, to keep taking the fat over lean method into consideration. And this just means that with every layer of oil paint you add to your painting, the more oil you add. Whether it is applying thicker paint or adding a bit more linseed oil instead of turpentine to your mixture as you go is up to you. You can subscribe to my you tube channel, because I am planning on making a detailed video on the fat over lean method in the near future.
When you reach the second layer of the painting, you can start focusing on where you see more pink tones and where you see more green tones. In other areas it might even be a bit more blue, so you can then just add a touch of the undertone colour to your base mixture.
Another thing to take into consideration is your warm and cold shadows. For your deeper and heavier shadows you can make use of burnt umber, whereas for your lighter shadows you can use burnt sienna.
And don’t worry if your painting ends up looking a bit too bland. This just means that you need to add some more of the undertones. You can always let it dry and add more of these tones with your base mixture afterwards.
One of the most important things when it comes to painting skin in my opinion is to make sure that your reference isn’t airbrushed or photoshopped. If you can take the picture yourself this is even better. The reason why I say this is that when we look at a photoshopped image, most of the time all those nice colours are taken out and you’re left with a doll like image which won’t help you paint a face realistically. You are going to have way less tones to work with and your image will turn out bland.
Here I am retaking a picture of my hand, because in the reference image, the hand is cut off.
This is how far I have come with my painting at this point. I have painted the second layer of the face and the first layer everywhere else. You also want to make sure that after painting your first layer, you really let it dry for a good couple of days before working on it again, because this will ensure that you can blend smoothly and that your skin doesn’t turn out patchy.