Portrait contrast study with oil colors

Portrait contrast study with oil colors. Done in 45 minutes with nylon brushes. A thorough explanation of the process
Portrait contrast study, allá prima


The colors

A quick portrait contrast study with oil colors. I used the following colors for this study: Cadmium Red, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White, Manganese Blue Hue, Burnt Umber and Ivory Black

Further more I added Galkyd Slow Dry from Gamblin to the Titanium White, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre to soften the oils and make them more liquid. By doing this it makes the wet in wet method of painting easier for me.

The shadows

At first I mixed Burnt Umber with plenty Cadmium Red at ratio of 40/60 approximately. Next I added Cadmium Red to the Ivory Black at a ratio of 25/75 approximately. Those mixes are my darkest of shadows but they need plenty of red into them to make it seem like it’s skin underneath that shadow.

I applied those two colors to the canvas while I roughly drew the shape of the reference.

After this I applied Yellow Ochre to the mix of Burnt Umber and Cadmium Red. This lightened the value further. I applied this lighter value along the line of the Burnt Umber/Cadmium Red mix as the reference features got lighter in value

The middle tones

I mixed Titanium White with Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Red to get a middle tone that was fairly close to my lightest shadows. The ratio was 70/20/10 approximately.

This color was added along the line of the lightest of my shadows and I used it to “carve” out the the nose from the shadows by applying small brush strokes in the appropriate areas. Furthermore I used it on the right eye lower and upper eyelid as they were partly dark in value

The skin tone

The skin tone was a lighter value of my middle tone. I added Titanium White to get it lighter. I added a small amount of Cadmium Red and Yellow Ochre into it after adding Titanium White as it had gotten to light in value at first.

This mix was just added along the previous applied middle tones or where there were weak highlights on the reference.

The highlights

I added Titanium White to the skin tone mix until it got as light in value as I wanted. I put a drop in the eyes and on the nose and in between the eyebrows.

The brushes

I used Nylon Brushes, filberts in the size 6 and 10 from Rosemary Brushes.

Links to previous content

For more information about how I build up my portrait step by step follow this link https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-painting-step-by-step/

Fore more information about how I mix my colors follow this link https://portraitpaintingblog.com/color-palette-portrait-painting/

Links to the materials and brands I use

Paint from Winsor & Newton artist color: http://www.winsornewton.com/row/

Bristle brushes from Rosemary and Co: https://www.rosemaryandco.com/

Ampersand boards from: https://www.ampersandart.com/

Nylon brushes from Trekell: https://www.trekell.com/

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