Portrait painting of my son Rio

Portrait painting on wooden board. Made with Winsor and Newton oil colors. 30 x 40 cm.
Portrait of my son. Done with Winsor and Newton oil colors on a wooden board.

What I wanted to do with this portrait painting of my son was to copy my technique from the painting of my daughter.

I feel like I succeeded somehow although in retrospect I could have used more and thicker layers of paint.

Color mixing

First I put down my colors which consisted of Cadmium Green, Burnt SiennaScarlet LakeYellow OchreIndian Yellow,Titanium WhiteManganese Blue HueCobalt BlueDioxazine PurpleAlizarin CrimsonOlive GreenUltramarine Blue. I put down the colors in the order as described above from left to right. Different from my painting of Juanita is that I now used my everyday palette that I have gotten comfortable with.


The drawing was a very simple sketch that I did’nt use much time on. I did the sketch with a brush and paint. I have no preferences anymore between doing my sketches with brushes or pencils. My wife could see that I was my son but was not convinced at that point. But experience leaves me to say, that a sketch does not need to be so thorough. It needs to explain the most important flag points. And you correct the rest when the real layers of color gets on the canvas.


Shadows made with Raw Umber and Cadmium red. The darkest areas on this portrait consists of Ivory Black mixed with Cadmium red.

Middle Tones

I mixed the middletones with my skin tone and and a mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. I left it fairly warm and reddish. The mix was used on the left side of the face as there were no real shadows on the area of the jar and cheek. When you have a portrait with almost no contrasts in dark and light you can built up the oval shapes from your middle tones to your lightest skin tones. That was what I did here.

Skin Tone

My sons skin tone is fairly light. First mixed Burnt Sienna with Titatium White. I then added tinted Manganese Blue to the pool which made it much lighter and more grayish. I hit the skin color extremely well this time. When I painted my daughter https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-painting-of-my-daughter-juanita/ I did’nt have the knowledge of color mixing that I have now. So her skin color was a little of from reality.


I used a primed tree board which I put a thick layer of Gesso on. 

I used Bristle Brushes from Rosemary and W&N Colors for this one.

What could I have done better

As stated earlier I could have used thicker layers of paint on the portrait painting of my son. Especially around the lighter areas. This painting was a test for me. I had a 2 month break and needed to get the feeling back. I had’nt expected the portrait to end this well. So I framed it and put it next to the portrait of my daughter. I’m overall satisfied with the portrait.

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/

To compare with the pencil sketch that was the foundation for this portrait follow this link: https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-pencil-sketch-of-argentinian-guy/

To see a previous oil portrait painting for comparison follow his link: https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-painting-oil-sofia/

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/

My Easel is from Edge Pro Gear: https://www.edgeprogear.com/

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