- Lesson details
In this course, professional contemporary realist gallery painter Hollis Dunlap teaches you his approach to painting both the portrait and figure in oils. Hollis has refined his painting approach, first learned at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, over decades of painting and teaching.
You will work along with Hollis through each of the stages of painting, from a basic block-in of the big masses, to the final rendered picture.
Hollis begins by introducing the materials he uses and why he uses them, then demonstrates his painting process with two main projects: a one-day portrait painting and a four-day figure painting. Along the way, you will learn foundational painting topics such as understanding the form, the importance of value, and the selection and use of color.
In this second lesson, Hollis shares his process of painting a portrait from life. You will be guided trough the development and understanding of line, form, value, temperature and color. Special attention is given to composition and visual texture as important components of the resulting picture.
Discuss this video in the forums!Discuss
and so I think we're about ready to set a pose. So we're gonna bring the model in.
My goal is to simplify as much as possible, getting only the essentials
so that the painting is effective even without a great amount of detail.
It's also a good opportunity to see how ar you can get
in a limited time frame. So you can follow along as I refine the
drawing and color as we go. Thank you for watching and let's
everybody. I'd like to introduce JJ is going to
sit in position and I'm gonna pose him a little bit here. I don't use different
colors or paints for landscapes or still life or figure, I use the same pallet
for everything. And I think that's important because
you know it lets you focus on the actual painting and not worry about materials
too much. So let me just take a look at him here. Are you comfortable
JJ? I'm gonna tape you I think if that's alright
just so we can get that. It looks great.
Big production here. I'll tape the foot even though -
even though I'm not really gonna paint your feet, I'll tape them anyway.
It's good to tape every part of the
Similarly with the other pose -
with the other pose that I did, I want a pose that's simple enough for the model.
You know if he needs a cushion, you always ask the model if they need anything like that.
Cup of coffee, whatever.
It works. I need two cups today.
Let's see here get the foot
here. I'm just gonna get your hand
here too. I'm not sure how far I'll get on the hands
but we'll see. Elbow.
Really the most thing I'm concerned about today is the angle of his head.
Anyway but just gonna tape this cushion
onto the... How do I do this?
Kinda tape the cushion onto the chair.
That probably won't really work but hiding behind the chair
and the camera. I think that's fine.
Alrighty then. So
we're gonna get going here. I'm just gonna
kinda as usual I wanna start the
composition with a little bit of drawing just to map out -
map things out
a bit here. My usual ultramarine blue.
If I was, you know really I'd like to get
his hands in there too but so angle from head
to his waist to his hand to the other hand. I'm kinda drawing an envelope of the whole
pose here. But I'm gonna kinda focus in on his head a bit
So let's see how big can the head be on this canvas.
This is a 16 by 20 board which is kind of a big one for a one
day thing but I'm gonna go with it. One, two,
three and a half heads or so to the bottom of that.
One, two, three. I bet the head can be about that size.
We're gonna go with it. See what happens.
Back of his head, top of his head. Forehead's the center
line. Center line of the head is important to me. What I
use for a reference is if you had to tie a
string from right between the eyebrows to the middle of
the chin, pretend he didn't have a nose, so it's not a curve, it's a straight line
from here to the chin.
What that does is it gives you position of the skull
in space. So whatever position you're gonna do you wanna find that
center line. So in this case his head is straight
up and down so it's a vertical line
from his eyebrows down to his chin.
So I could - let's see here. Put a ton
back there, I may move the head down a little bit, I wanna make sure I don't
get too close to the top here.
Let's see so let's say his chin is here,
jaw bone, center line, back of the skull.
Just a very kinda rudimentary skull shape or I'm thinking
cranium versus jaw. Very simplified
I think of the neck like a cylinder.
So this is about the simplest representation of a head you could possibly do.
Let's see here.
Using this, thinning it out with the gamsol as usual.
Let's see, alright.
So that's that, the angle of that center. The
other thing the center line does is it shows you how much you see
of each side of the head. So I'm dividing his head into like
how much I see of the right and left side. We see much more of his right
side, very little of the left. So I'm gonna try to show the -
and a center line shows that. The turn of our head
in space. So
that's what I'm using that for.
There's his far eye socket there,
two eye sockets. How big is this eye socket now,
the eyes generally, not the eyebrows or eyelashes.
Not the eyebrows but the actual eyes
are about in the middle of the total length of the head so
this is the length of his
skull, I want the eyes to be right about in the middle there.
Let's see here. And I'm just
approximating it, it may vary in size a bit
as I go but we'll see what happens there. Let's see
back of his skull, neck. I'm gonna make that a little
smaller as I go. I don't wanna go too big, I'd love to get those hands. As you can see I've already got
a much bigger head than I started with but
let's see here, I can make it a little smaller as I go I think.
And use a piece of a paper towel here to pull out the lights
a bit. Let's see.
His nose is gonna be about there.
His chin's gonna be a little shorter so.
Let's see here. This is background. So the background is
darker than the back of his head. And that's important. What I wanna do is
use that background to get a more sculptural
sense on his head so I'm gonna take just an overall -
I'm gonna pretend like just one color for all of his lights.
Maybe I'll use blue, burnt sienna, and white for that too, just a little more
on the burnt sienna so that I can get a warmer tone
for his skin. A generalized tone here.
Put it all, put it everywhere.
Again I'm going for the simplest
possible representation of that head. I gotta make his head a little
smaller. I did say I was gonna try to get his hands on there.
Here we go.
I'm using the background here.
Covering all the white
Now there's an interesting thing happening with the
background. So we've got the light set up in such a way that
the left side of his head is in light, the right side is in shadow, and the background
as the background turns from left to right,
it gets lighter on this side. So that's a really important thing is the
way that the background goes from dark on the
left side to light on the right side. So what you have is
dark, light, dark, then light,
in the background. if you look at classical portraits, someone like
Rembrandt will do this a lot, he'll use the lighter side of the
background over here to set up the shadow side of the model
so again his shadow side.
It's a speed painting here.
side is here, that's gonna be his nose and his mouth is in there.
Really, really simplified, so we're
creating - we're trying to create that sense of light
by using the background next to his shadow side.
Eye socket, the nose.
So I'm lightening
that area there.
Really thinning this out.
Still have to make the head a little smaller, as I go
it's probably gonna get a little smaller. Let's see. Because if I really want it
to get his right hand in there, I'm pushing it with that
size head so I'd probably want to make it a little smaller.
Which is convenient because usually my
heads get a little smaller as I go anyway.
Anybody watch that last video that I did. The head changed size
about 25 times. It happens.
So I'm gonna make this head, I'm gonna use that background to kinda carve away here a little.
is gonna end there.
Let's see. Alright. Wow.
Now where's his ear gonna be?
All of that shadow on his ear.
Love that shape. Eye socket.
He's got some incredible
colors in his skin. Hopefully I'll be able to get those in as I go here.
So his cheekbone.
use the same color for all of the darks.
Blue, burnt sienna, not much white at this point I need a nice dark
to really get these shadows in.
His mouth is there.
Chin. Let's see,
That's his jaw shape.
Go right into the background again. Let's see how dark here.
I wanna really get that form turning around in his head.
Let's get his nose a little defined. I wanna get that size. I'm sure that size is gonna take
some revision here. But I think we can get that.
The shadow under his nose. Alright.
Where was I here? Now the good
thing with him, literally the cool thing is he's got
warm skin but cool highlights. So similar to the way natural light
In other words his skin has this beautiful
warmth to it. Like this color.
But the highlights are cool. So the highlight
I can use the color.
like this or maybe a violet in there. That was a kinda yellow
green but maybe it's violet. But the point here, the whole exciting
thing here is the color of the highlights
is not the same as the color of his skin. So his skin is one
color, the color of the lights is something else. And that's the universal thing that
harmonizes everything in a paint is the same color of light
is hitting everything. At least that's my idea
for this painting. So I'm using the color of the light
that influences his skin tone.
And I'm gonna go back
to the initial warm color of his skin. Just kinda block in that
You all right JJ? Okay
when you're painting you can get desperate, when you're
working fast and you forget to ask the model if they're resonably comfortable.
So alright. Just blocking in a few things here.
Woah that's a lot of red.
I'm gonna basically - I'm gonna try to keep his head
straight up and down. So if I see him tilting at all I'll move him.
It's pretty close now. I have no excuses, I gotta do a good
getting a little more color on top of his head,
I can really see that. And a little more red. Whoops
that's a little too much. Gonna go back to that.
Speed painting, that's kinda
where I was I? I gotta make that nose a little smaller.
I need to make the whole head a little smaller so I'm gonna - I'm alright with
reducing the size here.
a bit. His eye sockets are very big,
there's a cast shadow here anyway but an amazing shape there.
Go into the background again
kinda carve away at the proportion a little here.
Remember that the lighter tone on the background
on this side is what helps me set up
the main contrast. Let's see where I was
a little off there so foreshortening the head a little more, like how much am I
showing of that left side of his head? I don't wanna show too much over there
because then you lose that sense of 3D space.
Space is the key. You wanna have a good sense of space
in the painting.
Alright there's the bottom of his nose, let's see
here. Got that shadow in
his mustache. Maybe his
mustache. Well maybe it's the same color as this.
Well it is for now at least. It's definitely
going to be lighter than that but let's see. Lower lip
and his chin. So I'm bringing him in there a little bit.
And as I'm doing that I'm making the head a little smaller.
Just so that we can get the composition we want.
Again we're going in here. Let's see, how high is his ear? His ear is higher than
I have it compared to his
eyebrow. So the ear actually comes up to about here.
Just moving that upwards a little.
There's a little more red in the shadow of the ear.
Back into his light skin tone.
Ear doesn't go lower than that so
there that's the better ear position.
Oh there's violets in his skin that I love as well, I really wanna get those.
Go after all that too.
Let's get those colors in his
beard and mustache a little bit better, a little lighter than I had it. That's
too light. Take two on that one.
beard again. A little in the shirt.
Moving the colors around a bit here. Size of
his eye socket, adjusting that a bit.
His eyelid's gonna be
there. Now, oh man there's so much to do in there.
Working very fast because I have to.
And it's good to be able to do that. It's not necessarily the
best thing but it's good to be able to work fast because
if you wanna be able to get a painting done if you don't have a 30 hour pose.
I think that's practical, you know, it's wonderful to have that much time
but if you don't, it's possible to still do a painting.
Let's see, you all right JJ? Okay.
If you need to move just tell me and we can always, you know, whatever.
We can always take a break. Let's see here.
A lot of colors in here. Now I'm not being too picky
about getting the exact right color yet. I do want them to be
exact but, you know, this is the first pose. I'm just
kind of trying to get the basic proportions in here.
His collar is gonna be like in there.
All of this.
Really thin this out. All of this
Still need to make his head a little smaller to fit that hand
in. Okay. That would be a break.
You can move. Thank you. We're gong to take a little break
I'm gonna clean my brushes and try to organize my brain
and we'll be back in five minutes.
I'm not as particular
about the body position when I'm doing sort of a focus on the head
but we'll see if I can get it pretty much similar here.
Alright. Great. Just turn
your head to the right a tiny bit, towards me. Like that, that's great.
Now back a little bit away again. That way, yeah that's
very close. Just a little bit more. That's perfect. Close
enough. I'm picky about it, sometimes I move the model too much and
then I have to move him back. As long as they don't get tired of me
we're good. Thank you. As long as your model doesn't run
for the door then that's progress sometimes. Okay
let's see. Proportion of the skull as usual. I wanna
make him a little smaller because even if I don't finish the hands
I'd like to at least get the sense of the whole composition there.
An artist that I love to look at for inspiration is
Degas. He did a lot of beautiful,
you know, I wouldn't say half finished but maybe
it's not completely evenly finished on the whole painting but you still get that sense of the
whole composition. And that's important, I think that - I don't want
it to be obvious that the head is my main area of interest.
I'd like to get the composition itself to be good.
here we go.
Using that background tone to set up the light
So it's all about getting this
in relation to that. The dark background
light skin. Let's see here. Okay.
Size of the head. I don't want him to be too big so I am
going to be making his jaw a little smaller.
Underside right there
of his chin.
That's where his shoulder is gonna be roughly.
Really just cover this area. I know that none of that's gonna be white.
Go right into the nose here. Using warm darks,
red and blue.
In these darker areas. Get that
cast shadow kinda coming across his nose.
All the same colors in the darks here.
Burnt sienna and blue. My
favorite. Let's just work on the foreshortening of that head.
What I'm doing is I'm
conscious that the head is probably gonna get a little smaller
as I go and that should help my
composition here as we do that.
I'm going a little smaller up here.
Bring up his mustache a little so I don't
make the shadow under his nose too big.
get the form to kinda turn here so I'm putting in some half tones,
some darker tones here just so I get that sculptural
sense on the head.
Essentially I'm doing a flat sculpture. That's the way I think of it.
I want it to look 3D, I'm aware that I'm working on a flat surface
but I want it to look 3D.
I think that's exciting when the 3D quality starts to emerge in the painting.
It's fun. Alright where was I
cleaning off my light brush which I got a bunch of
dark paint on. Bad painting habit but that's okay.
Nobody's perfect right. Some people seem to have perfect
technique. I just kinda - the only advantage I
have is that I'm willing to redo it a dozen times if I need to. I don't know if that's
an advantage. Maybe it's just insanity, I don't know.
I'm just - alright so. Putting in
his nose. Getting some reds in the shadow here, I love that color.
His mouth let's get that shape in.
Chin. So this is gonna
get smaller. This distance from
you know beard to chin. So that means all this is
gonna get a little smaller as well. And the painting needs that, I need to
really get that in. So let's work on the overall size
of his head, just gonna get a little bit smaller just so I can fit in
the composition the way that I want. That's his eyebrow.
There's a beautiful cool light on his temple. Just through that in
there. It's almost a purple color, I love that color.
Right about there.
Okay. Now let's look at his eye. Like where his eyeball is.
It's like a little marble inside the eye socket. I wanna
hint at that shape right here so we get that kind of overall
piece of light on the side of the eyeball.
Side of the eye socket here. So the eyelids and the
eyeball, I'm just positioning that round form
right in there. And then that allows me
to maybe bring down the temple a little more
here. Let's just see I'm kinda shaping
the bone points in there too. Get the zygomatic in there.
There's a little vertical line right there just to
to start getting the cheekbones in. Now as you can see I made that
smaller, this is really big right now I'm gonna fix that.
But the head was too big to get the hand in anyway so I'm gonna
make it a little smaller. Let's see.
Darkening his skin a little bit
in here. That's too dark.
All those highlights are gonna come down a little bit as I go.
Let's dot in his beard a little bit just so I can kinda, I can
use that to map things out a little bit too here.
Like that piece of light that's right there.
Oops. Green beard. A little too
green. Blue beard, green beard, purple.
Psychedelic. Everything's in there.
The title of this painting.
Alright. His eyelid is gonna be there. Let's see.
Before I get too much more detail I wanna really
start looking at the main position of the skull
And bringing his ear up. Everything on this left side is gonna come this way
a little bit.
Warm skin, cool highlights.
That's the theme. It's our kinda theme here and I wanna get that ear
positioned right. I know right now it's very big so I wanna move that over a little
bit again we're using the background
So I gotta do one thing at a time here.
Could you raise your chin a tiny bit, is that okay?
Yeah thank you, beautiful. Awesome.
Where was I? I use this background again. I gotta get
Let's see where's the ear gonna be?
I'm laughing at my own weird
proportions here. Let's see. Earlobe is
a little lower than I got it. I just raised it up and now I gotta lower it.
Let's see. Earlobe, just about straight over from there.
Warm, dark in the earlobe.
Beginning of the painting is the easy part, the hard part is when you
get into it and you gotta start really fiddling around with edges and
proportions. Bringing that all in.
Remember the top of his
ear is also, that's gonna come down a little.
Or a lot. Or it's gonna come down
a lot. Let's see.
A huge ear now. Everything's gonna look a little weird for a second here while I
fix it. But it's all
going towards the same goal, to get his proportion
Alright now I'm gonna start shaping the back of his
Bring it in there.
Alright the back of his neck.
I don't quite know if I have the right size there yet.
That's alright we're close but it's still a bit off.
A little darker there.
I wanna get those cools
in there, warms and cools. We want them
Alright, I'm looking at that
proportion here. And it's gonna take a few tries I can tell
just to get his head just where the size I want it.
There's an interesting spot right here
where the background and his head can connect.
Where as the background gets from dark to light
he goes from light to dark and there's a midpoint right in here
where the values would merge.
It's kind of a cool thing. You can lose that edge.
Right there. I may have to repaint that
a few times but that's, I think, kind of fun.
This spot where you can't really distinguish the two because the values become the same.
Everybody hopefully knows what I mean by value, that's just light or dark.
A light value versus dark value, you probably all know that
but let's see here.
It's nothing to do with the actual value of the painting.
Valuable painting, I don't know.
Raise your chin just a tiny bit JJ, is that okay? Look up a little more.
Yeah that's great, thanks man, appreciate it.
Alright. What was I doing?
Still looking at proportion here. I still - I have his neck
very thick looking ow I can change that. So like if I look at
his - if I look at the nose.
His neck is
in there, so that's where that cylinder of the
neck is. I can see a little
piece of the collar of his shirt.
Got one here. There's a great green color in that collar, maybe I'll
try to get it really quickly.
It's all the way up here.
What I like is there's a spot where
this setting off the light on his neck.
And I wanna get that as well.
So let's look at that. There's a tone
in here. Now I can still make him thinner.
Let's try to at least get that before the end of this break, I'd
like to get the right size of his
Everything goes together so sometimes getting the right sized neck means you gotta get the right size
eye socket because all of the stuff that's happening over here
influences what's happening on the left too so
I wanna get all that.
Yeah. Still bringing in the skull
a little bit here.
Getting closer I think but still not quite there.
proportion of the skull is what I'm looking for.
That length there.
I have a very big ear right now and I wanna make that ear a little
smaller as we go.
Top of the ear.
Is it there
I think that's a little better overall
A little funky in the shape there, gonna have to switch that up.
We'll fix that eventually here.
Get the reds in here
so that highlight that I had in here is gonna come lower.
Got to put that in again. Cool highlight again,
that crazy cool highlight. Blues in there. Blues
reds, yellows, I see a lot of blue right there in that one.
Kinda comes right down through the side of the skull, maybe it's more violet towards the back.
I don't know yet for sure but can always
change that as we go.
If I think I see a color I like to put it in.
It just might look great. It might not but it's worth trying. If you think you see something
put it in and see. It probably is there because the way color
works there's a spectrum of color, everything's bouncing around the room.
So there's a lot of different things that are affecting his coloring.
I wanna get them all - I wanna show that
influence of the environment in the figure.
And there's a little piece of a blue highlight on his nose.
So his nose is warm
around here but there's a blue violet highlight
on his nose
coming from our light source. So I think that's interesting.
That's how you have good color, you
don't do too much of the local color, in other words the color of the object itself
is not the real important thing, it's two things.
It's the local color combined with the color of your light source.
So figure out what your light source is.
That's what you wanna think about. If I move him
into like - move him outside it's gonna look different.
we put him
will influence that color.
I love that eye socket, we really wanna get that.
And let's just knock down a few areas that are too light like
those on this cheek here. I wanna take
my little blender brush and just simplify
the shape in here a bit, just bring that all together.
And I'll repaint it afterwards.
I still have to get his head a little thinner.
Alright let's take a break, thank you very much.
Back in five.
and I should say that I don't really
have a preference for what colors people use. I never kind of
force people to use certain things, these are just kind of my suggestions and I use
these because I think they're the most versatile colors
you can get. And as I said earlier, I think that's valuable, if you're painting from life
to really pair it down to only what you need. But I love every color,
I love every blue you can imagine. Like phthalo blue is beautiful,
cerulean blue is an incredible pigment. But what I find though is that
using this range, I can mimic the essentials
of each of those colors if you paint properly. And the term
I use would be using clean color.
And I'll explain to you what I mean by that as I go.
Essentially it's being really neat and specific with your mixing, making sure
your brushes are washed nicely. So this is
ultramarine blue and this is kinda your basic, middle of the
road blue. And what I love about ultramarine is it's very
dark and it's very transparent. So you can mix really great
darks with it. I can actually mix tones that look darker than black
with the ultramarine because it's so transparent. Sometimes
transparency gives the illusion of being darker than it is.
I'm not exactly sure why that is, I just know that it looks better to my
eye than something like ivory black. As you can see I don't use any black. But
ultramarine is a good middle of the road blue. I can mix
bright greens with it and bright violets.
It doesn't overwhelm any of the colors, it's a very
natural looking blue. Every other blue that I've used with the exception of
maybe cobalt blue, which is also very natural,
cobalt blue is a little more opaque so it doesn't work as well for the
range of darks you can get with a ultramarine. But cobalt's great too
but a phthalo blue, prussian blue,
cerulean, are all a greener, yellower, type of tone.
And I find that they tend to dominate the painting
in a way that I don't really look for. I think the more experience you get
the more you can use those colors well but
for me I like to have something that I can go either way with,
I can mix a green with this or I can mix a violet. It's difficult
to mix a violet with a -
well if you're using like a phthalo blue or a cerulean
which have more yellow in them, that counteracts with the
other color you're mixing with and you might not get the exact color. I find that the ultramarine is
right in the middle so I can do whatever I want with it. I'm never kinda fighting
the natural strength of the pigment. So that's that.
This is burnt sienna.
Which I use a lot in conjunction with the ultramarine blue.
What I love about burnt sienna is it's kind of a substitute
for a cadmium red. When I was in art school, the reason
I started using this back when I was in art school I was doing a lot of
paintings from live models under artificial light. And we had these warm
lights and I was using cadmium reds and cadmium oranges and I ended up
looking back on my paintings and I have all these orange paintings.
It looks like the models all have a sunburn. And it drives me crazy because
you know if I could just adjust the color on those paintings I would have
a lot of nice paintings but unfortunately all the color is weird. I've literally taken
photos of my paintings from art school, put them in my computer and taken out
a little of the orange and I'm like oh there's the way the painting should look. I'm like should I repaint
the whole thing, I dunno. So I was frustrated, you know, I would go
to the museum and look at the Sargent paintings and
besides the fact that he's a much better painter than me I was frustrated
that he seemed to be able to get away with using so little
color but it looked so good. And maybe it was just that I
didn't really study color theory at the time. All I knew was that my
paintings looked orange, his looked beautiful kind of grayish tones,
colored grays, chromatic grays, so.
I started using earth tones more and
that really helped. It took away almost immediately,
the weird kind of orange purple psychedelic stuff
disappeared and the painting started looking more 19th century, like the color that
I really loved. So I think that I was hesitant to
use colors like this because I thought they were depressing or boring or something.
Like a burnt sienna, you know, it's so
dull and maybe a cheap pigment but it's now - it's just very
useful. It's almost like a unifier, it serves to like unify the whole
painting and it gives us this overall tonality which I find is lacking
in a lot of modern painting. A lot of modern painters go straight
to your alizarins and your cadmiums and you get these
kind of almost caricatured versions of color.
Which could be beautiful but it's something
that I think if you can learn to use it well.
It's much better so, you know, what I would suggest people do
what I did, is avoid cadmium reds
and alizarin crimson for a good seven, eight years, learn how to paint
with things like burnt sienna and maybe like a mars or indian red
and you really will get better at
color that way, it'll force you to mix more carefully as well.
I should say another - going back to the ultramarine blue
the reason that these colors are great is that they're not overly
strong. Like if you've got a phthalo
blue, phthalo green, you can kind of zap your color back to life
by using it, it's so strong. You don't have to clean your brush all the way, or you don't
think you have to. So I find that people get a little sloppy with their brushes
and maybe they'll mix something and the brush isn't
totally clean. If you're using phthalo green or phthalo blue you can
kind of get away with that, but you can't really because it has an overall
effect on the painting. Everything here is designed so the overall
color looks as good as it possibly can. And you can't compromise with it.
The littlest bit your color's not gonna look quite as good.
It's like cooking in a way. I feel like I have a cooking show now, it's like
a little bit of that, but it's actually true.
I can see a painting where someone uses phthalo green, phthalo blue, I can tell
right away, I can tell if they use cadmium yellow medium, cadmium yellow light, cadmium
lemon. I can tell if you've used cadmium red or not
and you have to train your eye to see those things.
I don't know that there's one way to train your eye, the best way
is to look at paintings. Go to museums and look at painters you love and try to
imitate that color, copy paintings. When
I was a freshman in college
I had copied a Velazquez and it was - I think it was St. Thomas
was the painting and he's got an orange drapery in it and I was using
cadmium red I think and my color didn't
look like his painting and I substituted a burnt sienna and all the sudden
it looked like his painting. And I don't know for sure that he used burnt sienna but
I'm sure he used something very much like it, like an iron oxide red because he didn't have cadmium
so I know had vermilion but in that particular painting I don't think he used
that. I was just interested because the way
that he painted made the earth tone
look brighter. There's another famous painting that I copied by Velazquez called the Forge of
Vulcan. And there's an incredible figure of Apollo in the left of the painting and he has
a bright orange drapery. It's one of the - it's a brilliant painting and
the drapery looks very orange but it's really
not. If you try to copy that painting with a cadmium red it looks
too bright. It doesn't have that harmony. So there's lots of earth tones in
those paintings. They're the most tried and true colors ever.
The cave paintings in France were done with these. You can see the
pigment right on the walls. So I love that kind of
tie to history by using these.
And I should say that I don't care what
brand you use, what I do care about is that it's the right type of color.
Meaning that I look for a more warm burnt sienna. Some brands
are cooler toned. Anyway, so these two
I use together a lot to mix darks. This is
permanent alizarin crimson. This one,
this is a color that can also destroy
a painting very quickly but I went
back to it recently because I think you can do a lot with it, especially when mixing it with the ultramarine
blue, you can get really dark, beautiful tones. If you want
to avoid using black, like I like to avoid things if I don't need them.
When I first started painting I used a lot of colors like this really
badly and so I ended up with a lot of like orange, purple paintings.
So I stopped using
it for a long time. I remember I had a teacher in college that looked at my paintings and he told me
I should be using earth colors and I kinda sneered at him because I thought I was better than him
and I said yeah what do you know, you know. But then I started looking at my paintings and
like you know he's right, I should probably learn how to mix color.
So I avoided this for a long time. And recently though
I finally feel confident enough to use it again.
So it's really good for mixing beautiful violets.
If you use it with the blue. Or you can mix it with yellow to get great orange
tones, intense tones.
I use it sparingly though because I think it's really easy to turn your painting
into a purple, magenta, artificial looking thing.
And, you know, a lot of painters that I love, you know, people like Sargent
and Zorn, they never have that problem of the painting looking
too purple. Like a lot of figure paintings I see now
there's a little bit overuse of the purples and magentas and it looks a little bit
Walmart to me, you know, for lack of a better word. Cheap.
So it's something with that color.
So I try to really use this tastefully.
And not just have a bunch of purples everywhere.
Having said that it's great, you know, now they make a permanent version
of it like this and it's dark and it's transparent. You can do a lot with it.
So that's that one. This is
cadmium yellow light. This,
like a lot of the things I'm using is kind of the best all around
yellow to use. It's light enough
so that you can mix bright greens with it, if you mix it with the
ultramarine blue. But it's not as light as cadmium lemon
so you don't get that kind of alien florescent yellow look.
It's just light enough. So that's what I like to use. It's
great because you can imitate, if you use it properly
you can imitate veridian or phthalo green tones if you mix
the ultramarine blue with a little bit of the yellow and the white.
The key thing when you're mixing is to keep your colors clean.
Meaning that you can't just grab a brush that has
some leftover red on it and try to mix your green. You gotta make sure there's not something
that's gonna counteract what you do. So if I wanna mimic
a phthalo green, I can use mostly blue, a touch of
yellow, and some white. And it's not gonna be quite the intensity of phthalo
green but it'll have the same role in the painting. And that -
really the key is to understand why the color
that you're mixing is doing what it's doing. Why does phthalo green
look the way it does. You know it's because it's more on that blue side. Why does
veridian look like veridian. What I usually tell people is try
to make people think that you used veridian even though
you didn't. Understand why color looks the way
it does. Why does the green look yellow or blue.
The cad yellow light allows me to
get almost any range of greens. It also
mixes really well with the alizarin to make
orange tones. So it's another very versatile color.
So that's that. And this is
titanium white. And I've used probably twenty different
whites over the years and my favorite is really lead white or a
flake white. There's a Utrecht flake white that I love that's
kind of really juicy and nice. A lot of lead whites are really kind of chunky and
almost dry and they look beautiful but they're hard to paint with. They
dry really quickly. So I like that titanium dries a little
slower. It's a little more opaque, which doesn't always
look good in paintings. I have a painting
that I painted halfway with a lead white
and when I was halfway through I ran out, I used titanium for the other half,
I can see the difference. It's a very subtle difference. But a lead white'll have
a little bit of a pearlescent metallic quality to it.
It's also more flexible. So it really is a better white to use.
This is fine for me though. I think that if you use it properly,
without using too much, you can mimic the effects of lead white.
If you use it - so it's a way of putting the paint on which can give you
the transparency that you might lose. So this is
for me a good all around white. It's not too cool, too warm,
has a nice consistency to it. Some lead whites dry so quickly
they drive me nuts. I like my paintings to stay as wet
as long as possible in case I wanna go back in there and blend something
with my special brush. But
I really don't like it when paintings dry.
It's always a struggle for me, you know, I'm always trying to use something, some type of
medium to make my paintings stay wet. And there's a few reasons for that,
the main reason besides the fact that I like to get in there and blend things, is for the
layers of paint to be all attached to one another. If you're layering
dry layers over the top it tends to increase the chances of your painting cracking
over time. If you can do a painting in one attached layer
you'll have also a nice, more transparent
finish. So I try to do that,
inevitably with some paintings, especially bigger ones
they will dry and I'll have to go into the dry paint.
I don't love that but I've gotten less annoyed
with doing that recently. The painting that I'm gonna do here is probably
gonna be all wet into wet. It might dry a little bit
after the second day. Ultramarine blue is pretty fast drying
so is your burnt sienna
so that's why I've got a little - like my medium is basically
walnut oil. I like walnut
oil because it's a little slower drying and
less yellowing than linseed oil. I don't have any fancy medium,
I don't really like getting into that. I've used things like Damar varnish
and certain types of turpentine and
oil over the years but I don't find that I need that now. And maybe
I should use it but for better or for worse all I use now is a little bit
of walnut oil. I like it because it's less yellowing and
it's a little slower drying than linseed. And the yellowing is a big thing
as I have paintings that I did with linseed oil, in fact I had one -
I had a show in New York City and I had given the gallery a painting -
maybe the show was probably six months I had given the -
after I'd given the gallery the painting. And I had this idea I'm gonna glaze on this painting. So
I used some linseed oil in the painting and then I hadn't seen the painting
you know since I had given it to gallery and I went to the opening and I was like oh
what's - I wonder what that big yellow stain on my painting is and then I thought oh yeah that was that
glaze I put on it with linseed oil and it has turned so yellow so
quickly I was really surprised. And somebody had bought the painting and I was like oh I guess they
didn't mind that it looked like there's this huge yellow stain on the painting, they probably thought
I did it on purpose but unfortunately they're gonna watch this video now and know
actually it was my bad linseed oil turning yellow.
So I kind of resolved not to use that anymore. And there's a lot of
linseed oil anyway in your paint. So it's already there.
Every oil painting is gonna turn a little yellower over
time. Or a lot yellower. Looking at Rembrandt, you know, I wonder what his
paintings looked like when they were just done. Probably a lot less yellow
than they look now because he's always glazing all over the place with everything you can imagine.
Experimenting. So a lot of those warm
tones Rembrandts are probably more natural looking when he did them.
So this is just a jar of
walnut oil, which I'll use as I go into the painting if I want like a little bit of
a juicier kind of look, you know, just
to get that kind of flowing, wet look that I really like. I want
the painting to look wet ten years from now, you know, that's the
goal here, which is something that I always loved about a painter like Sargent,
all that same school of painters, Zorn, Krøyer, Sorolla,
their paintings still look wet and I always loved that look.
So I want the juiciest possible paint.
This is just Gamsol in here and
I use this to clean my brushes, which is really important. I'm a
little bit obsessed with it almost to a point where I feel like I need to stop
doing it so much. But you'll see as I'm painting that I'm always washing off the brushes.
Inevitably, even though I've got 15 brushes here
I'll find my two or three favorites that seem to be working for me and I'll use them
way too much. So instead of what I should do is use two similar
brushes and mix my darks and lights with each separate one, inevitably I'll
end up cleaning this off, mixing a dark with it, cleaning it again and mixing a light.
Which isn't really a good habit which it's something I do a lot anyway.
Some brush you just start painting with them and they have the right
feel and I kinda go with it. But I wash the brushes a lot
in here. I like these things because they're cheap, they're
relatively easy to clean, but inevitably every three months or so I get a new one because
they get full of paint. So that's the medium,
I guess you can say mediums I use, but they're not even mediums at all
it's just gamsol and walnut oil. That's my
favorite odorless kind of turpentine substitute. I'm sure
a lot of people probably know what it is but if you don't it's kind of the least
toxic thing that you can get, or at least that I know of at this point. I'm sure there's
probably lots of boutique-y brands that make other stuff. I just
I like to keep these covered as much as I can, I don't like the idea of
breathing in anything that's toxic. Even though you're not smelling it it's still probably not
good for you to breathe in. So I try to use these as minimally as I can
This is just my coffee, which
is not to be confused with a medium but is your essential
Gotta have the coffee. Anyway. I'm gonna
lay out my pallet now just the way I usually do this. What I usually do
is just like this order, I go from dark to light. So I'll put out some
blue here. And I like to keep my kinda piles
of paint up at the top. So this is my mixing area
where I have the paints up here.
And I dunno what order I usually go,
kind of blue into the reds.
alizarin. These could go in either order but I'll do them like this for this
painting. I don't know which is really darker,
this is probably a bit darker. Generally I like to go dark to light but
you know it doesn't really matter which way you use those.
Here's your yellow. And really
I like to put out a lot of paint, I should even be putting out more than this. The blue, I'll
go through the blue pretty quickly I don't like to have to stop in the middle of the painting and get more paint
that bugs me so there's usually, you know,
my studio pallet has usually got mounds of paint on here.
Which isn't the neatest thing but at least it's
authentic. There's your big pile of white. So that's kinda how I set things
up. This for me is just a logical sort of thing. I like mixing
area here, paint's up there.
Really this pallet would be better without that thing but I can work around it
I just like to have as much room here as possible. As I'm working I'll
probably be cleaning this off a lot because I'm very picky about that so once I
run out of areas to mix I'll kinda scrape off this
and wipe it down with a piece of paper towel just so it's clean enough.
So that's the basic layout. I like to kind of -
I like to keep these colors next to each other so that I can mix them quickly.
Let's see, the last material
oriented thing that I'm going to talk about is the canvas that I've using. It's actually
not a canvas, it's a panel. It's just a masonite panel.
One of those Ampersand Gesso panels. And I really like them.
A lot of people don't like them. This is the slickest one
they make. There's a gesso board. This is just the artist panel with a coat
of gesso on it. I like them a lot for doing relatively quick
paintings. Any bigger than this I would probably stretch
a piece of linen. I like this really slick surface because
I like to choose where I want the texture. So when I'm doing
a smaller painting I usually use a panel because
it just allows me a little more control than a,
you know, the heavier weave of a linen doesn't allow.
I would say linen is probably the best thing to use overall.
I used to be much more traditional and if I was gonna be really traditional
I would stretch linen, I would use
rabbit skin glue after I stretched the linen and then I would put
a coat of white lead, a very thin coat. That's probably your most
archival thing so if you really wanna do it right, that's a great thing to do.
I think that the gesso, this is acrylic gesso and I think that that's
okay on a panel. It
can be brittle over time if it's on a stretched canvas
that moves around. You don't want that so I tend to avoid it
for like a bigger painting. But for a panel, since it's a solid surface
it's much less likely to crack. And that little bit of absorbency
that it has I think is good too because it helps the paint bond and kinda stay.
So it won't flake off. You wanna make sure each layer of paint
bonds together properly, especially if you're painting
over dried paint. And that's always a little bit problematic because weird
things happen to the chemistry of the paint when one layer dries and then you put a new later
on. Sometimes they don't bond correctly. That's another reason why
I like the painting to stay wet and to paint wet into wet
if I can. With this painting I'm hopeful that I can do that.
I'm sure it'll dry a little bit. In any case this an el cheapo
gesso panel. It is cheap but I find that they
don't look cheap. You can make them look beautiful
and as I said they're the least absorbent panel that I can find, which I
prefer. I want the paint to look fresh and juicy and wet.
Whenever I have a panel that the paint soaks in a lot it drives me
crazy. I never like that look. I always think that if you prefer
that, you should take up acrylic painting because this is oil painting and you want
the paint to look wet. And if you're uncomfortable with
wet paint, work on getting comfortable with it because it's one of the
beautiful things about oil paint, it looks so transparent and
sexy and I'm going into like
gotta be careful what I say here but it's the best looking paint, I would say that.
It's not a dry looking medium. Hopefully
that was helpful and I think we're gonna move on now to setting up
a pose and the basic initial block in, kinda the beginning
stages of the painting. Hopefully that made sense and now time to move
on to the next stage.
back to the head again. I'm still working on the
proportions a bit. It seems maybe a bit - a little big on the -
but maybe not, it might be okay.
I think it's kind of interesting, it's like the connection of this almost makes him look like
a judge with his robe, you know, since I've connected all the
shape there is kind of an interesting thing. Alright, great.
Let's see here.
I'm gonna move your head a little bit, could you just
tilt like this way a little. Like that. Let me check that.
Little adjustments, that's great, thank you.
Alright always good. There's three things when you're positioning the head that come in handy.
It's the tilt
side to side like this. The turn of the head
and the height of the chin. So those three things and you wanna
try to be clear with the model which one of those to do. So tilt,
turn, and the height of the chin.
Those three things. And I always kinda use
alright let's see.
Now into the background again.
Just take this down a little,
I wouldn't go too far.
Gonna take the top of his head down
a bit as well. Still seems too big here.
It's not a lot but it is
there so just gonna work on that.
Just that little, just trying to look at this
thing out his head a bit here.
I'm gonna bring in this ear again
a little. Not by much but that
little bit should help.
Gradually making smaller and smaller adjustments here.
Smaller and smaller as we go.
Almost got his head down to its final
Alright let's see.
Into the background.
I want this edge to be fairly sharp.
The sharpness of this edge. I can always soften it a little after.
If I have time I may do that.
We'll see if I have time.
Gonna put in a few shadows on the robe really quickly.
As we go here. There's a lot to paint so
the tip of his collar is here so.
I love these folds on the front of his
shirt, the way this really flows. Don't wanna go
too dark there. Like a deep gray red.
Actually what I want here.
Sometimes I go a little darker
in the beginning, then I lighten it up later if I have time.
Just to be -
just so I'm simplifying.
This still shows
a little - I have his chin area
is not quite the right shape. Let's try to improve that a little.
This angle here.
Sometimes it's hard to see so you have to move things around a little.
To really get it.
His cheekbone, okay. Size of his nose,
don't wanna go too big there. Just wanna get it all to work.
There's always a point where there's some difficult
adjustments that have to be made. The further you get into the painting the more likely that is to
happen. Now the more marks you make, the more chance you
have to make on that's off as well. So if only I could
paint and have every mark just work perfectly but that's just not the way painting works.
So that's the length of the highlight on his nose.
Might lower that a little. Wanna make sure I don't have his eye
I had that
tendency for years I made the eyes too low, I don't wanna do that in this. Let's
position his eyelid. I can see that little bit of light
on his eyelid. That would be nice to at least have an indication there.
It's a little higher than
I had so right about there. Just an initial
indication. What that's gonna do is allow me to model the forms around it a little
I love that blue color in his skin. I bet he didn't think
he had blue skin but I'm making it.
There's a little blue in there. It's all that color of the light
that's making that blue, it's not that blue of course but.
So again the color of the light is what's
determining what I'm doing here. I love that
look he has on his brow where his brow is arched a bit. It gives him his character
Now this here is gonna help me
determine the final shape of the back of his skull as well.
So his cheekbones, a little higher
than I have them. I can even scratch them in with a brush handle, then I'll mix the
color. I see a cool, like a violet, hitting those.
So a straight line.
That's a little bluer than a
Keep working into that.
So much subtly in the bone
structure of his face here. I'm just trying to get the essentials here.
is that highlight on his temple?
Sometimes I don't even miss the color entirely,
I use a little kind of broken color, meaning that I just
put a dot, try to get basically the right value
then just put a dot of color in there.
Doesn't have to be totally mixed.
The smaller the painting, the more you can
get away with that. In a really big painting it doesn't look as good because it becomes too
busy, but on a smaller painting you can sometimes just throw in a
Let's get the side of his cheek here.
Now all of this stuff
I'm doing should allow me to get his ear
the right size. I don't want his head to get any smaller now so I'm gonna
really work at it to get that
ear the right size and shape. The earlobe and the shadow from his earring
comes down right about there. Close to that
anyway. It's not perfect it's close though.
It's close. Back of the ear.
Top of the ear
about there. Let's see.
Alright. Getting there.
Slowly but getting there.
I love the color.
Really wanna get that light on his
collar. Or his neck next to the collar.
I've done - I've
very little blending up to this point, almost none.
Let's see here.
Wanna get the shape of his beard a little bit
more accurate too. I don't quite have that
main piece of light on his beard. Where's that? Let's get that in there.
Just indicate it
anyway. A little higher than I had it.
And a little bigger.
And a little greener? No not greener.
light. There. Let's see.
Put that same color up on his head somewhere.
Boy there's a lot of colors in there. There's a lot of stuff going on.
Let's put in those
lightest lights again on his head. Let's really
try to get that sense of light.
Blue and a little yellow and white for the lightest light.
That's gonna come right across his head there.
Maybe I'll blur it a little and then repaint it. That's fun.
Some artists don't do that but I think it's fun to
kind of lose an edge and then repaint it.
To really get that sense of form.
I don't wanna get any smaller than I have him now. It's right about
the size of the head that I want, or very
close in any case. I'm losing that edge
a little. Same here.
I wanna get that
sense of sculptural form on the head.
And all of this - there's areas that I'll
repaint after I blend them
because I don't wanna lose the shapes too much.
So the blend has to be done very sparingly.
You should be able to do a painting
with no blending but a little bit
is fun. There's that,
just don't wanna overdo it.
The special soft brush. Do this,
just losing that edge. I know this is very small
so if it's hard to see I apologize but there is a
a little edge thing happening here. I'm gonna try to do this.
There's a sharp - there's a
sharp edge right here,
the sharp edge is on this side of his nostril.
This soft edge goes into his cheek.
So I'm trying to show that there.
Let's try that again. Now that I have this tone,
a little bit of a darker tone in the front of his eye, the eye ball
is like there's a point where it goes
from light into shadow. That's why I'm putting a
dark line on that side of it right there.
Let's see here. Try to
describe a bit of the shape
on the back edge of
his eyelid on this side.
There's his eyebrow.
Now I can see that I can go down a little bit on the top of his
skull. Just a little bit right here.
Gotta be very careful here
that I don't go too far. I can
also probably go down a little in the background.
Oops that's too light.
Let's try this again.
Very subtle here.
Gradually bringing his head down a little there.
We're getting closer to his actual
skull shape. Sometimes
it takes a while. I'm taking off about
you know a third of a millimeter each time.
Very small movements. That's what it
Take that color and put it right down at the
bottom for now. One thing I know is that nothing in here is
really light so it's okay to do this, even if it's not the
perfect color. Let's see where was
Still feels a little big in this skull area.
I'm trying to go - I don't wanna go too far
but I think I can keep coming down
a little here.
Tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky, let's see.
It's very easy to go too far.
Big, bright highlight.
Oh that would be a break.
Thank you very much.
Back and I'm wondering if I went too far there.
I think it's close. I'm gonna put a few colors in there that I wanna see, a
cooler tone. Cooler tone on the back of the head.
Good time for a break because I'm out of my burnt sienna.
Whoops. Using the
edge of that brush. Just
gonna be a hand there and maybe a hand there. Somewhere,maybe a little higher than that
now. I don't really want that hand touching the bottom anyway
so as long as I keep the head in that general size, the composition
should look fine. Ideally
I'd like about that much size below
the same amount below the lower hand as I have above his head,
that would be ideal. I'm not sure if it's gonna do that but
I think it might work out close to that.
Maybe on this break I'll blend a few things too, just so I'm not...
What I wanna do is simplify the head,
the idea is that the overall geometry of the head
should be like a cylindrical form,
you know, an overall cylindrical form.
the other thing I do is sometimes I
just wanna lose the edge a little bit here and there. Just so I don't have
too many small marks.
So I'm just simplifying my marks a little bit
here so they're not too scratchy.
There is a
mark on his forehead. Let's get more paint.
I'm almost out of this.
let's get every bit out of this tube,
there we go, bye bye.
Now some more blue also.
slowly zeroing in on his
actual skull shape. That's what I want.
that shadow right there.
Be a little red. It's too red.
I will get back to that. What else
do I want here. I'm just gonna soften this
edge a little.
Here as well.
I'm thinking of his head as like a
cylinder. Cylindrical form.
Alright I'm gonna make one mark here
and we're gonna take a little break for a minute as soon as I
Well of course I say one mark, one mark
quickly becomes five marks but I put a little spot there which is gonna
make me remember to go back to that part later. So let's
take a little break and we'll get back to it in a few minutes.
Let's see here.
I know it's time pretty soon for me to
address the rest of this painting. I always like to get the head at least
something in there. I was just working on the top of his head last
session and maybe I should look at that again. Alright.
Great. Just turn to your right a little, your head.
Yeah that's great, thank you.
Okay, yeah I have the top of his head
as too big. Could you lower your chin
a little bit, is that possible? Like that, yeah, there we go. That's why the top of his head looked different to me.
It's funny, just that little movement I can see that
shape of the top of his skull and I couldn't see it before. But I do have
a little too much up here.
So I'm gonna attempt to really - I'm at that point
where little adjustments are gonna have
a big effect on the shape of his head so I'm gonna really try
to carefully - everybody's skull has really subtle indentations
and it's amazing and I really wanna get some of that at least in his
skull. I'm still too big at the top of it. It's driving me
crazy but we're gonna get it. There's this
very subtle indent right there which I think is beautiful.
on him. Well, let's see.
How long is it gonna take me to get it? I dunno.
I know I need to get his eyebrow a little more defined.
I wanna get the most important contrast in his head.
Like this one
on his eyebrow.
That's his other eyelash, it's hard to see but...
Yeah I need to get that
back of his head the right size. It's so important to get
someone's skull the right proportion. Let's see.
Sometimes I cover it with my hand.
And if it looks better when I cover it, then I know that I need
to adjust it.
There we go.
Edges are also important at least in terms of getting the
proportions. Sometimes if you're too light in an area like that it can make it seem too big
when it's actually just that you need to go a little darker along the edge.
Although I think I'm definitely a little off of my proportion.
Let's look at the
bottom of his ear again.
You gotta make sure that the ear isn't actually too small. If the head
is - sometimes the head can be the right size but if your ear is too small, that can throw off
Some cool tones in the head there, I love that.
Okay. I'm adding a little,
trying to get a little form in this part of his head. I'm still not
totally confident with the size there but I think it's close.
Still a little off.
Let's see here.
This distant is far - my brow ridge.
I'm gonna get that, make sure that's big enough.
That's a little better
Still a little bit off somewhere
There's an interesting value in this area of
his cheek. Very complex.
Cheekbone. Just get
his cheekbone in there.
Not quite the color I want there, let's try that again.
All of this should be a bit
darker so the form goes around a little bit better.
So I want it gradually to go around
Let's see here, I'm trying to determine
how much I wanna show of his neck there, if his ear still has to get a little smaller,
come to the right, I think it does. The neck
shape is also dependent somewhat on his ear.
Let's do this here.
It's a little bit - we're getting there. It takes a
lot of concentration to get these things at this point.
The top of his neck, where the
muscle reaches the base of the skull, is straight over from that point of his nose.
So that means I could actually go a little lower
on that highlight.
Maybe somewhat like that.
That color is a little nice
It gets a little darker right there.
It's a process.
The paintings behind his head and those give
kind of little dark spots where if i wanna increase the contrast
on him I could.
I just wanna get the value right. Let's look at his ear again.
Let's get that nice, dark, beautiful shadow.
Really hit that strongly. Same thing
in the eye sockets. Really going after that
The drawing doesn't have to be perfect.
I'm trying to get it there but sometimes you can get the value right
and that can still give a sense of finish.
if the value's right.
Shadow under his neck.
Collar. I'm going a little darker
than I see it for now. Just because that helps me
intensifying the contrast makes it look finished a little quicker.
If you have a limited time.
Do I feel lucky getting the hand in now,
just measure how many heads it is to his hand, that'll at least my chances
a little. One, maybe one and a half.
One. Hand should be a little higher.
Using my - the same way I would use the brush.
One head, one.
One and a half. Let's see the top of it
his hand. Just a
little over one head so
there's this one.
So the top of the hand maybe there, it's close to that.
I'm gonna sketch it in,
just take a chance. Here's a thumb, his fingers.
Shadow side of the hand
block in the whole shape here. That's
his thumb, here's his fingers, let's see here.
Just something in there.
I don't wanna put too much more detail yet, I'm not totally positive about the location
of it. Here's the knuckles, one angle here, straight, then
an angle, straight, then an angle
So right here, just looking at those two.
These two point straight
then an angle there. One,
two, just to block in the hand. Probably gonna
have to move it, the other hand's gonna be about there. Let's see here is,
the upper arm, lower arm,
So the other
hand is gonna be in that area.
Just a piece of light there for now.
Alright. Take a break.
Get back to it in a few minutes.
Clean the brushes, I should step back from it and take a look
at my overall proportion here.
Clean these off. So we're gonna have one more
quick session here before lunch time.
After I clean my pallet. And always gotta be
about to mix a dark. So I don't like it when my dark area
becomes covered with paint. Alright, let's take a
break and be back in a few minutes.
spectacles. Mr. four eyes here.
and let's see I have enough paint here. Alright so we're gonna do a 15 minute pose here
and then take a break, take a look here. Alright.
Let's see here, let's see.
I'm gonna have you tilt your head just like this a tiny
bit. Like that. Thank you. That's kinda the way I had it so
that little bit of an angle. And turn to your right a tiny bit. Yeah. Perfect.
Thank you. The tilt and the turn.
see. I don't know how many
times it'll take me to get his skull shaped just right. I'm still
a little oblong with it. Gonna take another
crack at it here.
Taking it down a little there.
Oh that's a little better, maybe I need - a lot of times what
happens to me and this happens to a lot of people, there'll be something obvious
that you don't see at all until three hours into the painting.
I guess if you don't
see it until three hours in it's not that obvious but
kind of a contradiction there anyway.
So when you're using a blue and burnt sienna you can always just mix in the
same area and just push them side to side, push it more blue sometimes,
push it more towards the brown
another time. Let's see here
I like to get a little shadow.
There's a piece of shadow - not really a shadow but a darker tone right
there and that kinda helps define where his front plane is
versus side plane. So I wanna try to get that sense of structure
there. So, you know, I think of these areas like
the temporal bone here, his cheekbone, the zygomatic, like these
areas help define
where his head divides from light side to shadow side.
I really wanna get that. There's some interesting
curves in there. So many beautiful little
highlights. I won't have time for them all obviously but I'm trying to
pick the most important highlights on his head.
A few more shapes in his ear.
Let's go into the highlights a little bit. I'm using a cool tone for
now just trying to hint at a few details on the side of his head.
but a little more warm tone
There's a high contrast there in the skull. Really high
contrast. I don't want this to seem like his skull is indented there so
I'm very conscious of what I do with this value next to this one. If it looks
like it's dented there what you wanna do is
reshape the back of the skull here.
So you get that continuity in this area.
does, that helps reround the skull overall
and then you can go back to that difficult spot right here
So let's try to get this shape a little better.
Use the background again to
see I wanna blend that a little. I'm a little too marky
Losing this edge a little here
I'm a little - he's a little too sharp in general.
So I need to just generally blend a few things.
And if I have time to hopefully redo them.
I can fix some of that if I overblend it.
Hopefully I won't.
Some light right there. We can even draw
with the brush handle a little bit, a few curls in. You don't wanna overdo that but I love those little
curls in the beard. Don't wanna overdo it though.
Just an abbreviated way of painting them.
Obviously it's not the final shape.
Let's see here.
you do, the more you see in there. There's all these little details
that start to come out. It's kinda ridiculous.
There's a lot there.
And I'm working the shadows
And moving his mouth
over a little.
There we go.
I can see a bit of the sternomastoid
right down below his eye socket.
Right there. A little piece of light.
It doesn't hurt to have
that in there. Alright
let's see here.
Top of his head still looks a little funky to me.
Coming down a little bit there. Whoops.
There's a little trick. Smear the paint up into the shadow.
Then redo the edge.
Helps you get a little control back if you've
lost it there.
A little bit more round here.
I'm gonna hint at
some of the tones on his sweater. Just like to get a little of that
in before the break. I love - there's some
beautiful edges in here. This area
is something Velázquez. We all know who Velázquez was.
He's a master painter.
And he was incredible with edges. And
what you wanna do with edges is show what's
where the hard and soft edges are. So in this shoulder area
I wanna define
the sharp edge where the shadow's being
cast versus the kind of form edge where the form is turning
so the sharp edge is gonna be on the right side.
So there's a great shadow, maybe it starts about here
the sharp edge is on
this side but you can't really see that. Let's try that again.
The sharp edge
I'll just blend this to show you the shop edge.
Where's my fabulous blending brush?
Soft edge is on this side.
Of course it's pulling the paint off a little bit more than I want.
The thing about oil paint - the beautiful thing about
oil paint is that it stays wet. But that means
it's easy to accidentally pull it off the canvas if you're working on a white
canvas like I am. And what I'm trying to do though
is get a sharp edge here. The same thing with the
little fold next to it. Let's see if I can get
And we can go back to this as well, but what I want -
what I want is to get the sharp edge on the
right side. And the left side is a gradual
transition. That's the idea.
We'll go back to those
before the end of the day. Try to dial them in a little bit
more. Let's just see here, I want that
collar. His collar comes up to about his lower lip.
We can kinda draw a little bit with the
brush handle. So his shoulder.
I'm pulling the highlight into the shadow again
and then redoing
the edge like this.
Just for the time being. Just to get
something in there.
Too dark, lighten that up.
Not quite the right color there, I went a little too
red. It's actually a cooler tone. Well it's not
too cool. I just wanna get it just right.
The lightest area in his shirt.
Really thin this out, I just wanna really extend
it so I can kinda come down through here.
leg, let's just put a line down there.
Come down like that. So this
So this is where
his hand is roughly there.
I'm sure the timer's gonna go off soon so I'm just gonna
abbreviate this leg.
Now I don't really want it touching the edge like that, that's a
little funny. Compositional flaw right
there. I have to decide what I'll do with that.
Now quite sure yet. Ideally
I might push him back a little bit. I try to put his head a little off center
really it could be a little more to the left, that would be better.
It's not the worse thing but it's not a great thing either.
We'll get back to that.
My students back home are gonna see that
and say look what you did. Alright. Lunch
break. Thank you very much. Fabulous job. We'll get back to it
in an hour. I'm just gonna throw in a few brush marks
here. Just to cover the
Covering the white should help with
just getting his lights to stand out
a little bit.
There's that there. Let's cover this corner
area. May even down here. I don't know if that's the color
yet but I don't care, it doesn't have to be perfect yet.
Let's just cover the area
on the left side.
Just so I can be at a good spot
for starting again. So judge all the values.
I'm sure that occasionally the camera man wants to glue my feet
the floor. Haven't done that yet.
I do tend to move around a little. That
area at the bottom is gonna be more yellow.
Almost there, I wash
this brush. And
let's do this
in the background just to get that last bit covered then we'll break.
Up here. It gets a little lighter as it goes to the right.
That's kinda interesting.
Lots of brush marks, I don't want
it to be too busy but I also like the energy that it gives it. I love painters like
Van Gogh and I love that kind of swirling
sense of motion that his brush marks have.
So it's a really exciting thing
I love Van Gogh. Okay.
Alright. I'll stop there for now so thank you for watching and we'll get back to it
in about an hour.
So JJ's back helping me out here.
Doing a great job. He's doing a great job.
I'm working through it here. So. Let me get back
to it. So this afternoon I'm gonna try to get
a couple light areas down here. I've got his head obviously, which is this big focal
area and I don't really want it to necessarily be too obvious that
I'm more interested in this than this, so I'm gonna try to get some information
down here. One thing I really like is the way his pants and
his sweater are almost the same color so it looks almost like a robe.
So I may almost paint him that way, as if he was wearing a robe
instead of like a separate sweater and pair of pants. I'm not sure yet
but I kinda like that look.
Alright. Turn your head just a little to your right. Towards me, yeah beautiful.
Great, let's see here.
Alright let's get to it.
Sometimes after taking a break I have to kinda gather
my thoughts a little bit and kinda - you know you have to decide
what your priorities are. If you know you only have a certain amount of time you gotta
pick the most important things. That's really what
painting is, you know, like how good is your ability to
pick what's important, you know, to prioritize things. It's not like you're a
computer treating everything differently. The way the human mind works is
different than that. You're gonna notice certain things more than other things. So I've got
a pick the most important details rather
than putting everything in because I don't have the time. You know there's -
you know how many brush - how many brush hairs - how many hairs do you think are in his beard?
You know, maybe a thousand, I can't paint them all I've gotta pick the most
important ones. That's what it's all about is picking the most
important parts. That's why a painting's success is definitely
not about how much detail there is. It's all about
your ability to select what's important.
So let's try to do that here. One thing it looks like
I think I can give him a little more on that far edge of his brow.
This shape here.
A bit bigger.
This whole - I feel like
I made his head a little too thin there so
I'm widening his skull a little.
Thinking about light side versus shadow side.
I'd like to hint at the forms in his eye
a little bit more. And I could use a smaller brush but you can also do it
with the corner of this brush.
Put in a little dot.
A little dot of dark in the corner of his
eye. Well, looks like I'm gonna have to use this one.
Gotta go for the little one sometimes.
Ultimately it doesn't matter really what brush you use, whatever works
for you. I know that's not very - not so specific.
I'm used to using these kind of rectangular brushes but I do like to have a couple round
brushes, filbert brushes,
this was a square brush at one point but it's worn down into more of a filbert
shape. It's good to have a little couple of these
small ones just to really get in there if you wanna put a
small mark in. The key is to have a steady hand.
The older I get the less steady my hand is getting.
I guess that's probably common.
I'm laughing but I'm actually crying. Anyway.
Here we go. Nice eyelid.
I wanna really - I want to get something in there for that.
Sometimes it's intimidating. You look up at the figure
and you see 25 things you wanna do and you have to pick one
thing. You can't do it all at once.
I still think I'm a little big here.
We gotta be careful because it's about the proportion of this
part of this skull here to the back of his head there.
Or I should say it's about the proportion of his jaw
to the skull. I'm trying to look at both
of those things. If he's too long
you can also make him a little wider. Both
things should work, let's see here.
Turn to your left just a little JJ. Just your head, thank you that's
beautiful. Thanks a lot. And lower your chin just a little, is that
possible, like that thanks, it helps.
Alright here we go, let's get a few
shapes in the head here. Little adjustments
The further I get
into the painting, sometimes the harder it can be to
know exactly what the next mark you're gonna make is.
It's not easy, that's for sure.
Trying to visualize the whole figure here.
The whole shape of his skull.
Always go back to that.
Go into the background here
You're doing this edge, you want the line,
the contour line
of his skin. Each line should flow into the next.
I don't want any abrupt lines like
this. What I like to so is in between
I had a straight line so it goes diagonal,
straight, diagonal. So there's no abrupt corner
like that because that stops the rhythm of - the movement of your eye.
That's what I'm doing right now in here, it's a very small mark.
Now let's see.
Take me a few tries to get the exact shape I want in there.
I don't have the time to really get too nit picky over the head here
I just wanna get it as close as I can.
Let's see here.
And really right now
the two eyelashes are right across from each other.
So I should look at the major angle of his skull
and make sure I keep it straight here.
So that means I do that.
You can raise up this side a little bit.
We need to watch that size of his nose.
where was I?
This brush has stray brush hair on there.
There it is. Got it.
Making sure I have his eye socket
wide enough, I've got his nose a little bit wide right now but
I think I could fix that.
This size head. It's very
subtle. Very easy to make it
proportion if you put the wrong mark in there.
So it's gonna take a little bit of adjustment there.
I may bring his
lower lip out a little bit here. I wanna get
a little bit better of a likeness by the end of this than I have now.
So I'm gonna try
a few little adjustments.
Alright. There's a beautiful
shadow coming under his eye
hint at his lower eyelid.
That could be a good spot to
Take me a couple tries to get that.
Try that again. Get his upper lid now
moving that over just a bit.
To about there. So there's no
light, nothing as light.
is more here.
So I widened him just a little bit
in there. It's not perfect, that's for sure,
but it's a little better.
Let's try to get a better shape on his chin.
Fairly distinct size on his
chin. Let's see.
Straight down from about here.
That's a little too light.
Don't wanna go too light in the background, I just want it to be
to read as a lighter tone.
A little lighter than that.
I want the two eyes to be horizontal
to each other if I can get that
using the corner
of this brush.
I'm making some pretty small marks right now.
Bringing his forehead down a little there.
And as I do that,
still adjust that top of his skull.
Made a lot of changes, that's for sure. That's the
way it is.
Tricky time of the painting now. Every revision has to be really
carefully thought of.
I love that shadow next to his nose on his cheek.
Let's get that a little better.
The one I'm talking about is the -
it's a fairly big shadow, this here.
The one next to it, this one
should be horizontal, a little more horizontal.
Excuse me. Let's draw with the
handle of this brush a little.
His lower lip is a bit darker than I have it. Not quite.
That's not quite the shape I want though but let's see here.
Let's try that again.
really subtle piece of light, you can kinda see his lower lip there, it's
very subtle though. I still need to come up a little
bit with my shape here though.
That's the sound of a break.
Trying to get
a bit better of a likeness in here.
Maybe I'll lose a couple edges
while we're on break here.
This cheek just tapping it.
Just to smooth out the paint a bit.
We don't really need to do too much of that then.
And soften the edge a little with this.
I'll probably read
redo this shape again anyway but...
And I wanna soften the top edge of his
Still working on getting that
the right size.
edge. This kinda
blending it a little. Just to
get rid of it a little there. Let's lose this edge
a little too.
I know I have a limited
time so I do have to be aware of that.
as I go here. That's why sometimes I work during
the break like this just to lose a few edges. Sometimes if you
blur something out, it becomes less obvious that it's not
shouldn't say not finished but not defined and it can kinda -
like I know I'm not gonna define too much in this shadow area
because it's in a shadow so the point is that it's obscured so I'm more
concerned with what's going on in there, in these areas.
Of course I want it all to be just right but that doesn't mean it will be, it's just
sometimes you have to get what you can get.
The great thing is it's a painting. I think it's
weird because now there's so much photorealist art
and there's so much pressure to do that kinda stuff, you know, people love it
because the first thing that a kind of non artist can see,
what's the main compliment you'll get. It looks just like a photograph, how
many people out there have gotten that comment on their paintings? Probably a lot of you.
And people mean it as a compliment.
The weird thing is though is the fact that there's photograph should allow
painters more freedom to experiment but
there's a certain amount of saleability
in detailed work. I think a lot of galleries, even a lot of galleries
surprisingly don't even understand painting. So the simplest thing they can do
to sell something ot a client is oh look at the skill, look at the detail.
Even at major galleries you'll see that sort of thing. No
real understanding of composition or like formal ideas about painting
that, you know, in the past hundred years
painters have made more prominent. Like someone like Edward
Hopper, Fairfield Porter, really were interested in
composition and the formal parts of painting, in the
abstract parts of the painting. So you really,
you wish that you could get the galleries to
understand that more but instead you see a lot of just kinda detailed
work. I like a lot of it but when you're working from life
you have to select. It's not just like a camera taking everything
at once. You have to have a sense of priority there.
Kinda losing that edge a little because I know
that I do wanna try to simplify this
or I wanna get a
little more variety of the edges than I have right now.
Some of my drawing here is a little strange. I feel like it's okay
down to there but something in the size of his jaw isn't quite
working. I'm gonna try to get that a little bit better the next pose.
I'm still kinda losing these edges.
If there's an edge that you know could be a softer
edge you can always - you can do that when the model's not there.
Just to kinda lose the edge a little bit. Alright.
Great. Now let's see,
could you lower your chin a little bit, that's great thank you, that helps. And turn
a little towards me. Just a tiny bit. Yeah, good enough. A lot
of times when you're with a model is as they become more relaxed the chin will
raise a little bit. I try to account for that but I don't always do it
successfully. But that's fairly common.
Using the background here.
Alright. Now this side I think I have his jaw a little
bit too big. I wanna see
if I can fix that a little here.
Tricky. Very tricky, let's see.
of his jaw is actually there.
We can put that piece of dark that's right about there.
And there's a little piece of light
you can see on his neck, kind of on the
In this area. It's not that light.
And let's make sure I got enough length on the neck here.
There's a little more of a highlight on the back of his neck here.
Earlobes. We can see his earring.
I'll try to
put in those two little dots of light
on the earring.
Yeah. Not perfect yet but
we'll work towards that.
Don't have a heck of a lot of time today so I'm going to
get what I can with that.
I wanna get that nice little
shadow under his earlobe. His ear is casting
this beautiful little shape. And I'm gonna see
if I can get lucky and get it in sort of the right spot here.
Yep, it's about there. I think that I can.
What you do is you make then shape and then you paint - you make the right
you paint around it to
get the shape right.
So it's a combination of the two values
next to each other.
Put a few highlights
in the hand here. Even though I know
I'm not a hundred percent sure that this is the right spot but the hand
could be anywhere over there. As long as I get a little drawing in here.
Size wise the hand should be about the size of the
face. From here to here. And
roughly that size.
The angle again there, we'll get the
pinky fingers kinda coming out in a cool way here.
won't be perfect but at least there's something there
that so that his face isn't the only
Let's try to draw that a little bit more
so it's -
mix the dark for behind the hand.
shadow from his thumb.
So that finger really ends there.
Let's see here.
Now if that's here
I'm much too far in.
Do I want the hand there? I could move
the hand to the right a bit. I haven't decided yet. I probably
Having to redo that is not what I
really wanna do.
But according to this shape the
hand would be further this way. So
okay let's see.
This is gonna be shadow.
Let's do that. Alright moving the hand.
Kinda crazy considering the amount of time
I have right now but doing it anyway.
So the hand is gonna be now -
so that thumb -
let's do this.
I'm moving it because I just think the composition's better with having the hand
more to the right and I want it to link up properly
with his arm where I've
got it here.
So let's just put that
altogether, so now
again just one.
Top of the hand there.
There we go. Let's do this.
First let's take out the other
Sometimes when you're really
kind of winging it like this it's a
little bit crazy but let's try this again, one, two.
Let's make sure I position it
A little bit lower than I have it.
That's about where
I can put it.
Wrist, let's mix slightly darker tone overall.
There, that's a finger. Will be a finger eventually.
Let's see here.
Just do this again, here we go.
Gonna really jump into it.
The side of the thumb.
Sometimes when you have to redo something, the way I try to think of it is well
it's annoying to have to do that but just try to make it
better than it was and then it's less depressing to have to do that.
So try to do a better job on your redo
then you had on the first version.
It's just a good way I think to think about having to do depressing things.
And painting is very difficult you know, so it's sometimes really frustrating
to have to redo something. Like today especially, having to redo the
hand, the tiny bit of the hand I had, is not exactly the best
use of the time that I have. But I just wanna,
you know, the placement is important so
if you don't place it right nothing really works.
It still doesn't look like a hand but
I'm gonna try to make it
work. At least work good enough. Now the
hand could be anywhere in that area. He could place it anywhere
but I think it's okay to put it here because I can just adjust the
other things. The hand could be anywhere, you know, within that
radius of movement that he's got there. I don't know if that's the right term to use but
it could be there.
As long as it's not too far away.
I think my favorite hands in any painting ever were -
there's a portrait by Titian of the Pope
and I forget which Pope. Pope Paul,
one of those guys. And he's got his hands kinda splayed out
down here by his waist, it's just an unbelievable painting.
I might take
a few tries here.
I can draw a little bit
even with the piece of this paper towel. Pull it
out the highlights a bit.
Don't wanna make the hand
too small. That would be annoying.
Let's watch out for that right now.
I probably won't finish it in this 20 minute block but
I'm just trying to get the shadow sides of the fingers versus
the light side in there.
I know it looks a little strange right now.
That's supposed to be the top of his leg.
I haven't even really measured that but
I'm kinda just going with it because I don't have a lot of time.
So I'm hoping that my eye is somewhat accurate. It's probably a bit off.
But I think that can still work.
All this I want massed together there.
Funny looking hand. Whoops. Come on.
I'll draw that a little
bit with the brush handle here. Maybe I can
get a nicer shape here.
Far side of the hand
over there. That finger is gonna come out.
I know what I would like it to look like.
Doing that is a little harder.
Very rapid mark making here.
Making that finger a little bigger.
So I can
define - I'm adding the -
darker area behind the finger so I can show the light
side of it a little more clearly.
Another fingertip is there. The lightest one
interestingly is in here.
That's strange. And then he's got a ring on this finger
that's nice. Let's see, get that in there, that could be interesting,
It just happens to be right over from the -
that's not quite right but it's close.
Maybe it'll be similar in the next pose where I can
work it out a little bit. His wrist
is smaller than I have it.
I gave him like an invertebrate hand.
It's easy to do.
Need to make that finger a little wider.
A little wider.
What did I get myself into here.
I always feel like I can get it
as long as I'm patient
Being patient definitely helps
Let's see here.
That was a tough one.
Sometimes you gotta be willing to take a chance. That doesn't mean they always work out but
I'm willing to give it a shot next pose.
Let's take a little break here.
it here. Let's see what happens with this
strangely amorphous hand.
He's been pretty consistent though so
I don't see. Hey look at that it's almost the same.
Try and get it
believable enough here. The thumb was
in light before and now it's not, that's interesting. Oh now, there it is.
There it is.
Typically it takes me almost
three to six hours just to paint one hand so this one's
gonna be fairly abbreviated.
I'll try to get it the best I can here. Let's see.
Tip of that finger.
There we are.
Let's see here.
Again, trying to look at the whole shape overall
Boy that hand is beautiful if I -
his hand is beautiful if only I could get it - I can
see what I'd like it to look like.
Getting it there is a little trickier. If you look at Sargent
his hands sometimes are amazing because he just kind of smears in
the fingers but he gets them in the right spot.
And if you can do that it can still look good, even if they're,
you know, maybe the drawing isn't quite what it could be.
I'd like it to be perfect but it rarely is
perfect. A little cooler
on the fingertip there.
We'll get back to that one.
It's not great but if I had to stop at least there's something
there. I'd like to get through the whole painting.
give each area of the painting some attention.
So I'm conscious of the time in that sense.
His other hand is here. Now that looks
amazing. Let's get that in.
I'm just doing this by eye, I'm really not measuring that
much so hopefully I'm not too far off.
I love the
pattern in his
Some purples in there. Some
pure colors. Nice pattern.
Now do I really wanna
show it in the lower part, maybe not. I really like this
idea here. So I think I'm gonna kinda keep
Maybe I can show a little
of those folds there.
There's a piece of light at the bottom on the pillow that he's
sitting on, that would be a good thing to get. Just as a visual
answer to what's happening up here. You want something like down here.
Somewhere in there.
Not gonna shape it precisely here
but on the chair leg.
Straight down there.
Might try that again.
Always takes more than one try to get it placed right.
Interestingly there's almost the same
shadows on his sweater.
Sometimes you gotta clean off an area. Get more
paint. Should work on that hand again
it's almost identical and that doesn't always happen.
That's supposed to be
part of the background.
I can shape his arm a little bit nicer here.
Where'd my dark brush go? There.
Get aback to that hand in a minute.
Sometimes you wanna wait for the pose to naturally
be in the right spot. With the hand that is.
I'm gonna just do a few little adjustments.
Turn the head back to left a little bit that way.
A little bit more. Thank you, that's great.
Painter can't make up his mind where he wants to have -
Alright let's see here.
Hmm, very subtle. Just
trying to draw a little bit better in the head while I have time.
the same color back here in his beard in certain spots.
Don't want his beard to look too blue though so
I'll get a couple more highlights in there. There's one.
Little bit warmer on that highlight.
Underside of the beard. This is
a funny thing. If you paint a hand in and then you do a strange looking
hand it almost looks worse than if you didn't put the hand in at all. But
that's alright. I'm going with it for now
and I'll try to fix it up in a minute.
There's a rectangular mark in his
beard. Right there.
Using the littler brushes now.
Trying to look at angles.
see here. I'm gonna get a little more
form in his cheek.
This needs to
come back. This should come back to
There's a very subtle value in there. Don't wanna be too light with it.
But I do wanna show it.
I'm hopeful that on one of these poses his hand will just resume
that position. We'll see.
Doing a great job, thank you very much JJ.
Fun to paint.
I appreciate it.
Get that shadow in there.
Blend this a bit.
There's a lot more color in his highlights on the head
than I have at this point.
I think I could experiment in there a little bit. Let's try a blue. Blue and white. That's all I got
on this brush right now. There's a bluer area
along the top of it.
And at the bottom it looks more red to me.
I'm sure this light bulb
has kind of a full spectrum. I see some
violets in there.
Violets and reds.
I even see a little yellow.
Well not very bright yellow but a
there's a lot of yellow in the burnt sienna so
sometimes you can mimic if you just use burnt sienna and white it might be
enough to get that sense.
Whoops. Try to get that
sense of his skull being round.
It's always a sign that you're hurrying when you end up with the same
color on four of your brushes because what it means is you're kind of
rapidly going back and forth into the same area.
Okay I think we'll
come back in five minutes. TIme for a little break. So I'll see you then.
I wanna echo the - I'm looking at the shape of his leg here
and you can get in position any time. Thanks JJ, I appreciate it.
We got two sessions left here so I'm gonna try to
start to wrap things up in a way. And a lot of times that
is a compositional thing too. It's not just a detail thing but
it's - like there's this diagonal of his leg here and I think
I can get the diagonal of the baseboard on the other
side of the room, which could be anywhere.
It could be further away and higher up. So I can put that
at the same angle as his leg. And I think that's
kind of an interesting thing. So I'm gonna do that
and see how it looks. And if it looks totally weird I'll take
it out but simple shapes like that can add
a lot to a painting. I'm gonna pretend that it's almost
on the same level.
The idea is I kinda created a little tension inadvertently
by having his knee so close to the edge here. So it's good to
do something on the other side of the canvas that also
creates some tension.
It balances things out in terms of visual weight.
When you have a tangent like that or an almost tangent it creates a lot of
energy there and your eye can go right there if you don't watch out so you have
to do things elsewhere in the painting to even it out.
That's why I'm doing this.
Maybe there's a few other
light spots too in the background. Maybe there's a painting back here.
That has a spot. And maybe this is a painting also
up in here. So maybe there's some of the color that's in him
in the background.
Always try to do that. I always try to find
a little of the color on the figure in the background somewhere.
You know it doesn't have to be much though.
Alright let's take a look here. We can go behind his
head, like I can go a little darker,
just along the edge of his head, just to push that contrast a little.
Just a little bit, not much. I
don't wanna go too dark because I want his darks to really come forward still but there is
a spot, there is a painting back there, I can probably
darken that. Then it - maybe
And it helps to emphasize
the back of his head
So I can go a little darker
in that spot. That's a good thing I think.
You know that
little bit of geometry can add a lot to the
painting. This one's even darker.
Of course this is something I could be doing on the break.
So maybe I'll get back to that.
in a minute.
I always get into something and I think what the heck was I doing?
At least there's a little context now. Really could use a little
more work back there but that's okay. Alright, let's see.
Bringing things together here. Now that hand
looks a little big. I was looking at it during the break. Looked a little
funky so I'm trying to just
make it a little less weird looking. Maybe the
bend in the thumb is too great. I got two quick sessions here so maybe
one of those times I'll try to get it. Remember we talked about these
edges in here, which side the sharp edges were
The kind of
probably hard to see. If you go to a museum, look at Velasquez's painting.
If you can - I don't know what Velasquez paintings
are around this area - whatever Velasquez
are closest to you because obviously people are all over the world so
if you can go to the Prado in Madrid
but look at the way Velasquez paints drapery and
look for the sharp and the soft edges at the way he creates the
shadows. That's the artist I would look at. I think he
is the best at painting drapery.
At least in terms of learning from
somebody, I think he's fabulous.
That's where I got the idea of using edges from looking at Velasquez.
You know which edges to make
sharp or soft.
So looking at these edges here like here's one.
So I want the soft
Soft edge on this side, sharp edge on that side.
Just trying to get rid of - there's a little bit of white there.
Okay. Just gonna
mass this together a bit.
Just really simplify.
Big areas of
shadow in here. Just really want this to come together.
Lose that edge too.
Even down here at the bottom we can blur that
right together for now.
If I was gonna continue I could render it a little more but
I don't have a lot of time so really trying to pick
the most important things to do here. Let's do his shirt
collar, it's such a pretty color. It's the only kinda greenish thing here.
Let's get that in a little bit nicer than I have it.
Straight over from his lower lip.
I can see a little bit more of that
collar now, maybe I'll show that. Should I? Well I don't know.
There's a little bit right
Maybe I'll straighten up that knee a little.
under his hand here. Let me get that a little better.
It's tempting to put that painting back in there, I don't know if it really needs it though, maybe it
should be over here.
I don't know if I want that there, I haven't decided.
I can't quite decide it. Before I do that...
Trying to show that his cheekbone is there,
it's not just his nose that you're seeing, it's also his far cheekbone.
That's important for the 3D - a little bit of the 3D effect.
See if this works.
I just want that little bit, littlest bit of it over there. I don't know
if that quite looks right, it almost looks like it's part of his nose.
I don't know.
to do that. I don't know.
Get back to it.
I made a bit
too big of a jump there with the value
I'm gonna go back and redo those
a bit. Let's get that lightest value in again.
So line. Maybe it's a
yellow. I'll try it.
very challenging, a bit more
in the top of his
skull. Just a little bit
more. A little more form there.
There's some cool shapes
inside his ear that I can see, I'd like to hint at them.
That's a red. A little red in there.
That green of his
collar I can see it at the bottom, down here
there's a spot where that's coming through. Maybe I'll just hit that color a little bit there.
Maybe it's back there too.
That's a little too
light for that area back around here.
We can always work on that after.
Maybe I'll show the division of where the walls changing
back here from light to dark.
Might be a little better. Not
positive on that but...
Alright, take a quick break.
We're gonna have one more session right after this
so I'm gonna take one last overview and kinda try to
fix anything that is too jarring and tie it together a little bit
so thanks for watching and I'll be back in five minutes.
And I'm looking at this painting and there's
probably 30 things I really wanna do but I can't do that many
so I'm gonna try to pick the most important things. I'm gonna try to make this hand a little
less funky looking. It's kinda jumping out at me right now so
I'm gonna do that and just kinda do a quick overview of the rest of it.
When you know your time is about to end
I find that a good thing to do is look at the painting overall and say
what doesn't fit, what doesn't belong, instead of worrying about
what you need to add, maybe there's something you need to take out.
Sometimes that's a better idea so alright.
Let's see here so I'm gonna work on the hand a little bit, let's see if
I can just make it a little less exaggerated looking.
It's no guarantee but I'm gonna try.
Top of the thumb, let's see here.
It's very close to the position so that helps me.
I could try to position it exactly but that's alright.
I'm not gonna worry about it too much. It's
just one of those things. I can imagine how nice it could be.
So if I were working a little longer I'd probably do that.
Whoops. Try to get that exactly where I want it
but for now I think this is okay. Not perfect but not
terrible either. That's always what I go for
And there's a few little of those white spots in the
background I wanna get rid of those. Okay.
End up wanting to
work on the figure and I end up fiddling with the background.
Need to blur a few things in the head.
A little bit - I'm just blending this a little so I can get a nicer
form on his skull. I don't want it to seem like
it's caving in there again it's very tricky.
So the key thing is to
not have too much of a contrast there.
The other thing
when it's the last 15 you don't wanna -
try not to mess up things you did either so.
I'm also conscious of that.
It's very easy to mess up
an hours worth of work
in five minutes.
Very easy to do.
Softening that edge a little.
Up here too. Just softening
this edges a little. It's fun to do, you don't want to overdo it though
but as long as you don't overdo it looks great I think.
Maybe I can hint at a couple of the wrinkles on his forehead that could add a little
character. Just hinting at them.
Whoops that's a little too dark.
Hinting not drawing a very dark, dark line.
Take two. Try again.
I know there's
gonna be something I'm gonna see right after I'm finished
that's gonna jump out at me too much.
That's the way it usually is
There's a painting by Titian,
it's a man with a red hat and I'm trying to remember I think it's a the Frick
Collection in New York City but there's a hand in that painting that's
the way this hand should look. So just look at Titian
for hands, he's amazing. It's like he -
early on he knew how expressive a part of a
portrait a hand could be so it seems like he always put a little time
in there to get them looking good.
So this is no Titian.
But it's the cliff notes version of Titian, you know the abbreviated.
That'll be my sales pitch.
If any of you know what that is.
The abbreviated version.
Let's see here.
Anything on the head that's gonna
bug me I'm sure there's something there
but I see something.
This transition should be a little more
This is the type of area that you could spend hours and hours
but just try to get the essentials.
And if you do that you're good, you don't
have to have every detail.
Of course I'd love to have every detail but
let's see here.
Just knocking down those
tappy marks I made. I don't wanna have that too visible.
shadows a little nicer and a little violet in there.
I deliberately didn't put in that shadow down there
because I thought that it looking cool that his whole side here
almost looks like a robe. I thought that was interesting so
I left those things out.
Into the background here.
Just gonna bring that together a little bit.
Sometimes I think of three different
things and you can only do one at once. I like how
the background can kinda connect to his beard there though.
The beard connection.
Title of the painting. What do you think?
I little Van Gogh swirlies going on
here. You gotta do that.
The difference is the Van Gogh didn't - I don't think he even used any medium it looks
like he just used so much paint he had huge thick
marks of paint. There's a little more
yellow in that background. Did I go too blue? I don't wanna be
too blue with it.
I don't know about that.
Put that back in like that. It's not perfect.
It's tricky to get that just right I have to
move that arm around a little bit to really get that. I know that there's something in there
that would be just the right mark. I'm unsure exactly what it would
be though. Hmm.
Maybe that thumb is a little big. If I make that a little smaller it might bug me
a little less.
That hand is a little strange. It's okay.
Hit that highlight a little more.
Needed that. Gotta have the
prominent bone points need to be emphasized.
That's the idea with that.
Go into the background again.
Cover some of these
white spots there I had that are kinda
Interestingly this is the same
value so connecting him to the environment
again. Just like that.
Now there's no actual
distinction down there. I think that's interesting.
So yeah there's no line there. He's directly
last thing maybe
there's a piece of the chair leg
define where his leg is. So
I guess I could clean that mark up a little but I can't
see that. So there's your modern
touch. You lose that edge but show that. So it kinda moves
the eye around.
It's a tiny highlight.
Eyes and nose there. That's too light.
Try that again.
Alright thank you very much JJ.
Thank you. Appreciate it
Well I think there's one mark I'm gonna make then we're done here.
I think we can leave it there. Well. So that's a wrap for today
and a wrap for the entire series
so far. I hope you enjoyed it, I had a lot of fun today
thank you so much and have a great day.
first painting. The main challenge with this painting was refining the shape of
his skull without losing sight of the overall composition. I didn't
want it to seem like the head was the only thing that interested me so I was careful to
pay attention to the drapery and the hands, even if they weren't as finished as
the head. The important thing is to consider each aspect of the composition
so your painting is as interesting as possible. With that in mind,
let's welcome our next model.
Free to try
1. Portrait lesson introduction34sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Setting the Model & Blocking-In the Portrait19m 55s
3. Laying Down Main Shapes20m 52s
4. Working the Background & Refining the Head20m 11s
5. Completing the Body & Defining smaller Planes on the Head25m 39s
6. Refining the Head15m 20s
7. Working the Drapery & the Head17m 36s
8. Adjusting Proportions & Working Edges on the Portrait24m 28s
9. Blocking in Hand20m 1s
10. Refining the Hand & Small Adjustments17m 57s
11. Working the Background & Adjusting Edges and Details15m 54s
12. Finishing Touches16m 13s
13. Portrait Project Overview35s