Glazing a portrait from grisaille to colour

This was a commissioned portrait of a young girl and here are before and after images to show how I developed the underpainting. Grisaille underpainting was completed first and then I added some layers of colour glazes. With this method, rather than mixing the colours on the palette the colours are ‘mixed’ optically through progressive glazes – very thin layers – of oil paint with…

Romily portrait

Heres a detail of a recent portrait. I painted this using the usual process of working over a grisaille. Her skin tones were very subtle and perhaps the rendering is not so easy to see in a photo. I painted about 5 or 6 glazes over the grisaille, and it was a challenge to capture the translucency of the skin. This is exactly what…

Portrait of a young England fan

The client initially made enquiries about commissioning a portrait because they had a portrait painted of themselves as a 13 year old, and wanted to commission a portrait of their son at the same age. It was agreed the portrait would be in oil on board, and I went to the family home and worked on the painting from life for a day before…

2nd glaze on my Bouguereau copy

I finished the 2nd glaze last week and have added a voiceover to my video, so it is all up on youtube now. This is the last video in this short series, using a copy of a Bouguereau painting to learn about the glazing technique. I chose to make it the last video because my main aim is to demonstrate the technique – I…

Portrait sculpture in marble – direct carving

This is one of my favourite portraits, carved in beautiful Carrara marble from Italy. Looking at it here I feel its got a nice sense of the person as well as a simplicity and wholeness. This was a bit of a fluke but I’m hoping to use it as a benchmark for future portrait sculptures. Its a challenge trying to capture eyes in monotone…

Video of 1st glaze on underpainting ‘After Bouguereau’

I have just finished the first glaze in oil paints on my grisaille underpainting. This short video project was all about trying to work out how Bouguereau made his paintings, something I have often wondered about. His works have a particular translucent quality and it was my mission to try and fathom the processes behind this. I think the only real way one can…

After Bouguereau grisaille underpainting

After drawing in this Bouguereau I painted the grisaille. I’m not normally used to modelling the forms so thoroughly but I found that to be a very valuable experience, because I don’t think I have ever done it! I have found in the past that as long as the drawing is correct in the grisaille then the glazes and half-pastes (with white) will continue…

Commissioned portrait painting

These images (the 1st 2 are film stills) show the first 3 glazes as they went on, alongside the initial underpainting. This portrait was a challenge in the sense that I underestimated how light the reference was and how light the final painting would be,  so the grisaille was too dark to begin with and the glazes darkened it further. It is still a…

Portrait painting showing grisaille underpainting

This is a detail of a painting that I have shown before of the effect of glazing over a grisaille underpainting in a short time.

My palette, limited palettes and extreme limited palettes

I like to use disposable palettes. I like to start with them looking nice and clean, a clean slate. I can’t leave the colours on the palette to dry and then work on top. I find its just good to start afresh with each session, so I’m always miserly about how much I squeeze from the tube, although there is always some waste. At the…