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Commission Portrait Oil Painting Instruction- Softening Edges & Refining Values

The previous face is a little stern looking compared to the next layer below. I had to get here before I could take it to the next level though.


If you compare the above hand on the dress to the below hand, you will see it really starting to take shape.



If you will notice, the face above has a more pleasing expression and is now much softer than the previous face. I do like her relaxed, pleasing expression now. It doesnt look posed or fake.


Notice the fabric line on her arm above compared to below.


Above, edges were worked around shoulders and arms. Layers were added to the arm on her hip, the hand, fabric, the table, chest, and a tiny bit to dress. I noticed the hair grew a little high so I took that down a bit, and it will have to softened later. As I worked the edges I added the values into the surrounding background as well. When working edges, adding paint into both sides of edges is necessary to get a wet-on-wet blended soft edge.

I am keeping the skin tones very cool now. It seems to go well with the colors in the painting, and the cool light from the window reflects these colors in Adriana’s olive skin. There will be no orange in her skin tone, and just enough red and yellow to read as skin. It doesnt take much when there is so much green in the background. Just a little bit of terra rosa or yellow ochre goes along way. The window light will actually reflect the grayed green of the wall onto her skin, so we will eventually see some of the dress tones and the wall tones appearing in places on her skin. Im not a huge fan of overdoing the skin tone colors though. I will have enough fun going crazy with colors in her dress, so I can keep the skin colors subdued and real looking. There will be plenty of color in her dress. The eyes need a place to rest. We need dark to have light and grays and neautrals to appreciate color.

Have you ever seen a painting that has no grays in it? ……. just all bold color? ┬áIt doesn’t work for me. I prefer beautiful grays and neutals with a splash of bold color in the right places ….. and voila ….. we’re there!