Oil Portrait Painting Demonstration Step by Step

About Jeff

Photo of JeffJeff is a 27 year veteran of the art industry working in both traditional and digital media. His passion for creating art led him to a career in art and illustration in which his artwork has been used for advertisements, book covers, magazine covers, computer games, etc.

Jeff’s art has been published by major corporations such as Disney, Pixar, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks SKG, EA Games, Blizzard/Activision, THQ Games, American Airlines, Texas Instruments, Pepsi-cola, Frito-lay, Bic pens, IBM, and Mead.

By applying traditional art principles to the digital media, Jeff found a whole new world of possibilities to create artwork. This opened the door into the gaming industry where he has worked as an art director,concept artist and illustrator for companies like DreamWorks Interactive, EA, THQ and Midway. Titles Jeff has worked on include Medal of Honor, Clive Barker’s Undying, Need for Speed Hot pursuit 2 and Evil Dead Regeneration.

He is currently employed at Big Fish Games, Seattle as the art director for the Mystery Case Files series of games.

Jeff is also a writer, teacher and lecturer. He currently writes for online magazines and forums sharing his insight with artists around the world.

Follow this link to visit Jeff’s Website.

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Oil Painting Demonstration of a Pilot

by Jeff Haynie

The first thing I did was to transfer the pencil drawing to the canvas. Then I started with acrylic paint and blocked the darkest shadow shapes to have a strong values structure to glaze oil paint on top of. Sometimes I use brown as an underpainting and sometimes I use a bluegrey. I choose the darkest area of the painting to put down as an underpainting and the areas of detail that I want to maintain. In this case it is the shadow of the hair, the details on the face, the shadow s of the jacket and a few on the background.01 Oil painting Demo 01
This is the final block in of acrylic before I start with oil paint. The main reason I do this first is so I have a strong drawing, value structure and basic image to build the oil paint on top of.Oil painting tutorial 02
Now I start with the oil glazes using Liquin to dilute the oil paint I wash it over the whole canvas to establish a base set of colors. I let it dry overnight or until it is dry to the touch. Notice you can see all of the acrylic block in through the oil glaze.Oil painting techniques 03
After the canvas has dried overnight, now I begin the build up of body color in this case the sunset sky. I allow the brown underpainting to show through the body color.Oil painting tips 04
Now I am blocking in the background jet in a translcent bluegreen so that the red brown shows through and visually mixes.Oil painting demonstration 05
Oil painting Demo 05b
Now I am blocking in piolet’s jacket with a translcent green. Next I start to add thicker green paint to build the hightlights on the jacket and darken the shadows.Oil painting lesson 06
Adding more highlights to the jacket and working on the gloves.Oil painting tutorial portrait 07
Notice how much of the underpainting stays in place. By working with translcent paint in the early stages it allow you to keep the underpainting which is the foundation of the shapes. With the underpainting as acrylic, I can have better control and fast drying time. During these stages it is almost like tinting a black and white photo. The shadow areas are very transparent paint and the highlights are more opaque paint which take longer to dry. The awesome thing about oil paint is if you put the paint down and you don’t like it, take a rag and wipe it off. Your underpainting is still there and you can try it again.
portrait painting tips 08bportrait painting techniques 08
Working on the helmet and gloves. Each object in the painting is broken down into light and shadow shapes. With the color I break up each shape with a warm and cool version of each color. The jacket has a warm green where the sunlight it hitting it and a cool bluegreen for the shadow areas.01 OilDemo 09
portrait painting demonstration 07b
Now I am working on the face. This is when I used more finer brushes to get details since the face is the focal point. Everywhere else in the painting the brushwork is more loose.01 OilDemo 10
01 OilDemo 10b01 OilDemo 11
This is the final. The orginal is about 30″x40″ and took about a week to paint. 2 weeks to fully dry. After about a month a put on several coats of varnish to make the surface have an even sheen.01 OilDemo 12
02 OilDemo Final


One Comment on "Oil Portrait Painting Demonstration Step by Step"

  1. Aileen McLeod on Wed, 13th Apr 2011 10:02 pm 

    This is a dramatic portrait. I love the expression and colour tones of the skin.

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