- Lesson details
Learn the fundamentals of oil painting with acclaimed artist and instructor Charles Hu.
This course breaks down the entire process of oil painting and is intended for beginning and experienced artists alike. Charles explains the important concepts of gesture, shape design, and composition. You will also learn what materials are needed, how to get set up, and the techniques used to apply paint.
After taking this course, you will be on your way to oil painting from life using a variety of different subjects and palettes.
In this lesson, Charles works from a live costumed model. While applying the full palette, he explains the benefits and challenges in painting from life vs photo reference.
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We're actually gonna be using a full palette, I'm gonna be painting from a live model,
the previous part we were working from photo references, which is, you know,
there's those benefits. I'm gonna talk about benefit of painting from life and also painting
from photo reference and what's the challenge, you know, painting from
life and we're gonna kind of get
into all of that. And so we got
a wonderful model and his name is Scott Miller and he
is wearing this kinda Renaissance Knight Costume, beautiful chainmail,
we got a beautiful set up and
you know while I'm working on this
like all the paintings that will have been done I'm just gonna
steps by step kinda figuring out while I'm painting it
the way that works is pretty spontaneous and
especially when you work from alla prima and you're basically working from life
is again that response, that
you get and
you know like I said there's a lot of different kinda scenarios.
Obviously the first thing is the model will take a break.
You know usually what we do is every 25 minutes the model
needs to take a break and that's why I mentioned before that's a time that you need
to step back from the painting and check, you know, analyze what you need
to do and then the model will get back up but, you know, sometimes
the model might not get back to the same exact poses, the cloth,
the drape will be different, the fold will be different. Sometimes I like that, sometimes I like -
sometimes it might work even better than the previous compositions. If something
majorly is off that anchors your painting that
was off then I will let the model know okay, can you shift that back.
But normally I sometimes I kinda just paint whatever
is in front of me.
So today we're working on 18 by 24
canvas board still. This is Fredrix canvas board and you can see
we're still using full palette. And one thing
I want to mention is that some of the paintings I've done previously takes a little more time
you know because I work off of full reference, I have as much time as I need.
I can, you know, I can take it slow. But since now we got a live model there's a
time restriction and plus I'm not gonna come back and paint in again
so I need to be - my process needs to be a little bit more
quicker. And obviously I'm not gonna be, you know, tedious and
rendering the smaller details. In certain areas I might but mainly
I just wanna be, you know, getting things down. I'm still gonna be focusing more on the
composition and the value grouping and the color in this case.
So I will have enough time to get much done
with the time that we have. Okay so
again this new painting I throw a bunch
of brushes because I never know what brushes that I need but at least I have something
large, medium, and small, and all the way to the very small one, the
sable one for the detail in the features.
Okay so we got this
Usually when I look at a set up, I think obviously of looking at
the questions you're asking yourself. Okay so obviously
the main contrast,
light against dark or dark against light. The foreground versus the background.
And where is - you know so I got light figure against dark
background. So that's my main, the largest graphic separations.
And then I'm gonna start looking for gestures.
You know every pose you have some nice gesture.
So I can already see this kinda spiral gesture within.
His sleeve, you know both sleeves kinda swings this way, and then I got
the skull versus some tree branches. That kinda ties
in nicely kinda diagonally.
And you start looking for light and dark.
You know patterns. Means the sleeves, obviously the sleeves are the brightest,
you have a triangle shape on his left sleeve. Somewhat also his curve
triangle, left sleeve, and then you got the
skull is pretty bright too. So let's see how can I - maybe those can tie it in
or the skull I'm gonna set more in the background. So start thinking about
how things tie up compositionally. Let me wash a ground first,
a tone, because usually in a darker set up like this I usually
will wash a tone like for the lighter set up
then like the still life we did - I did -
and then usually I just work on the white canvas.
seeing as everything is - I got a red background I'll just kinda use
some of the brunt sienna and this alizarin
A little bit of that burnt umber just to kill that red a
little bit. I don't want it too vibrant red.
As you can see
that burnt umber is dry, I might need to -
okay let me wash it first, I probably need to - this is from
some of these paints are from the painting yesterday.
These earthy colors like the yellow ochre, raw sienna, these burnt umbers,
those dry - sometimes they dry the next day
but the transparent color like this is gonna take forever to dry. Look how thin that is.
Alizarin crimson will never dry,
ultramarine blue, those are gonna dry - takes
forever to dry. But like these more opaque colors
those are gonna dry, you know, very fast.
A little warmer - oh maybe it's fine because
the top above thing is kinda a little dull huh, a little darker.
But let's see okay. I'll redder to make it a little bit warmer and
I can darken it later.
And get that canvas going.
Usually at the
bottom go a little bit darker.
Your arm can get sore by just doing this.
Again remember to push it in.
Okay I'm gonna reload my
burnt umber because that one, as you saw, was kinda dry.
feels a little dry even when you squeeze out -
I think in this case for the burnt umber probably
get the profession grade burnt umber from the Windsor Newton because I do have the professional grade,
this is student grade, feels a little too dry.
I want his head to be here, obviously, because his body gesture
is kinda going, swing out this way.
His arm, sleeve
Maybe I can pull some of the skull, comes in.
About see - but for sure I want his head to be here.
And I want his head about that big so easier for me to
paint, for that to be hard so I'm gonna - so then I'll use that
as anchor for the rest of the composition.
Look at this distance, how much the top of his head.
Okay I'm trying to get a most
interesting facial shape. I can move
this chain mail a little bit out a little bit because I can tell maybe it's a little bit too less
but this is more - I wanna make sure
I get this, get the face.
You can see actually the
this part, the arch part, the center of the arch part actually pointing out this way a little bit.
So I'm gonna adjust like this.
Which is kinda like, again, brings your gesture out.
Put some shadow underneath that chin so it gives me a sense of where the highlight is.
Look at the silhouettes.
Again sculpt, keep your strokes
a little more straight, more linear, don't
get all over the place.
Think of shapes.
Step back because when I get to the contour I need to
watch out how the contour
Do I want to crop or do I not want to crop.
Maybe not let me try to just keep it right there.
This is the darker, that shield over his forearm,
I need to watch that placement too. Again remember the darker -
usually the darker area creates the visual cue like
you got dark here, dark here, dark here, your eyes are gonna follow that source of light. Right
but this thing is dark, it has that heavy
contrast so I need to watch out.
Again, I'm looking at this dark shadow plus those dark stripes
opens up this light and helps me to know where this is gonna be.
And obviously I'm, by myself,
right now only by myself in the studio so I have a great
advantage of where I want to set up to be, I'm at a perfect spot.
If you work in a classroom environment and sometimes you got like
you know 13 students plus
easel, the easel itself takes up space
and sometimes you get squeezed all the way in the back, like it's a third row in the back.
If that's the case I always tell the students,
don't try to paint a whole head because it's just
impossible to do it. You're like 15 feet away from the model and you're trying to paint
a giant head and it's just too hard, it's just way to hard. You can't see
the details. You wanna paint the model's head, go right up to the model,
come early and go right up to the model. And if you are further back
then just paint the half figure or the whole figure
or if you're way in the back like just do like a color comp
and don't try to get
try to get the whole thing in you're gonna be frustrated at the end.
Try to figure out,
try to design.
I'm just gonna dry brush these
and these hands
Somewhere in there and
his thumb is right there. A little too
dark but it's okay.
Because I'm not sure exactly that's where the handle of the
sword. Maybe not. But anyway we're gonna keep
do that just for now.
Keep this edge sharp.
Get a look at this shape right here.
So you notice if you can
like I said to be able to see everything in just a paper
cut out, in this case it really will benefit you to
block things down, especially for painting.
Drawing might be a little different
just think more three dimensionally, drawing through more. You know for
painting just flat shapes.
Watch out for that chainmail, this part.
Like I said, don't just do it like a quick
like U shape, still figure out like again where's the center axis, where's the
gesture flow to. So
it flows up.
The 8 pack right in the middle, shorter
here and longer here.
this shadow, looks like I got a warm shadow
gets a little bit warmer as I'm - I wanted this
to be transparent, I want it to sit back in the background, which
it's just a little
between the arm pit - not armpit, between his
upper and lower arm. So I'm just gonna
keep - don't make it too
bright. Again I can use that
to help to tell me to see where that forearm begins.
Here's the black part, here's the -
make it a little bit gray.
At the moment that's been 25 minutes right there and I did not even get the sketch
down completely but the model needs a break so
lets, you know, so let's take a break.
this is the kind of demonstration, demo, I take
my sketches also quite slow. If I do this
personally I will probably do this a little bit slightly quicker than
what I'm showing you here, but again I want you guys to be able to know what
my process, what am I thinking, so I'm slowing it down to really break it down so you guys can really
see what I'm doing, otherwise I'll be just putting stuff down and you guys wouldn't know
what I'm doing. So
I'm gonna get the sketch down and
I'm not sure how much background I can involve into this, I might
start to squeeze some of the background into it and
then I will start working from dark
you know from dark to light. Okay so let's
take a break.
I'll see how much background I can put in but I probably won't
put the horse skull in there because just
I don't think it will look good with the focus of his head and then you got
this, you know, this skull coming in here.
So I'm just gonna leave this space open. I'm gonna put some
tree branches over just as a foreground element and then the mirror, I'm
gonna lower down the mirror, put the mirror right here.
of course if I wanted to get more of the environment in
then my head has to be half size of that but then you guys wouldn't be able
to see the head well so I wanted - since I decided
that's the size I want the head to be, I have to sacrifice some of the environment.
Like I said earlier, today if I'm standing back
you know coming to the studio late, you know, I would be far
from the model then I'll paint small heads and I get more of a
environment in there.
I think I could put the mirror here.
Should I crop it or put it here?
crop. Let's see, let's try. So I got this kinda blue,
Maybe not that blue so I'm gonna
touch a little bit of the burnt umber just to
kill it a little bit
about right here.
Well again just got a note, let's just put it
right here for now.
Block in a couple more
I like those shadows like coming in
and create this big shadow right here, I like that shadow, I'll see if I can get that in.
Looks more warmer.
be more warmer. We got warm spotlight today so
it's gonna influence a lot of like that yellow light.
I want this to be a little bit warmer. I got it
too black. Even though I added some alizarin crimson but it didn't show
on the canvas well so I'm gonna push
add some red, cad red in there.
Goes off to the top
Again always look for the diagonal relationships.
Again making some notes.
This part looks really dark.
Add a little bit of alizarin crimson to that black.
Again I'm just afraid to be too
flat. Add a little bit of that alizarin crimson, warm up
a little bit, give a little bit of depth to that
I like this kinda goes up like this.
Like I said it might - again this is the thing
drawing - painting or drawing from life
it's like there are certain, like I said there are certain
things will change. Like when we go back the model will go back to the pose
like this shape of his sleeve looks a little different
than earlier but like I said it actually
most of the time it actually works out better than the
pose and I just kinda go with what I see.
I wanna get those
tree branches in there. I'm gonna cheat it,
I'm gonna bring it into his sleeve like this.
Give a little overlap.
In the shadow it feels kinda seems kinda green shadows.
I'm gonna push more green.
Notice what I did too, obviously this on the set up this
is further away. I kinda just made it closer and also I tried to
make sure to try to get a sense I'm seeing that top of the tabletop.
That leads towards him. So you know you see the
angle right there you can see the top of the table.
I'll figure out later if I want to get that blue bottle in there.
It might go nicely with that blue part of his
shirt but I'll see if I want -
I'll see later if I want to put it in.
Well it's kinda this cool
warm shadows but I just tried
right now, just trying to just get
the value right. Later I can
come back and get them more accurate.
concerned about that shape that brings out this part.
See how this kinda falls down like this.
I wanna fix the shapes.
on my - I still
want to work work out this area a little bit. I'm not liking what's
going on with this bottom part. I might even just
pick out a little bit because first of all -
first of all I got a lot of glare at the bottom, I use a lot of transparent paint.
The problem with transparent paint is you get a lot of glare, a little hard to read
things start to feel like I don't like
the shape going on in here
when he gets back I'll figure out what I'm gonna do with that bottom.
so we're gonna continue to
block in more
more relationships. When I say relationships that means
value relationships, color
relationships. Right now I'm thinking of mostly focusing just
on value and the shape relationship.
This is just - I want to try to get this...
I'm just trying to organize the spun part.
I like that better. Everything I
want everything to kinda fall this way.
Again making some - again
still making some notes. I wanna make this
a little bit larger.
Get a little bit of that yellow light so it puts some of this raw
sienna so it's not just pure black.
Add a little bit of the yellow ochre to see
if I can push it up a little bit more. And everything is a key to something like that red because
that background is gonna influence a lot.
chainmail a little bit shorter.
It helps to feel more stretch, more taller.
I'm gonna try to use a pure ultramarine blue for
the shadow part of his cape.
I got this kinda blue gray
color for the side of the shadow.
Just to be safe add a little bit of the burnt sienna
from that background.
To be safe keep it a little bit warmer.
It's a kind of
every fold a little bit different.
He's gonna be different when he comes back anyways so just get the
at least the fold where the pinches are and then the bottom of the sleeve
and you know the rest of it we can just kinda
make it up
and kinda improv it.
The bottom part I wanna feel like I see some of this yellow rag.
Let's work on this chainmail,
let's get some light.
Add some white, add some raw sienna.
A little more.
There we go.
Let's make this part a little bit lighter. The top.
This could be brighter.
Here definitely can be brighter.
Got a lot of warm in here. So add some
of the burnt sienna. I wanna get the red
come in this way.
Just get some of the shadow in his face
Just blocking in those shadow shapes that you see.
Make it a little bit warmer.
Here I wanna get that dark right here, that shadow that's
separate cheek to the
inside the chainmail
almost looks black back here so I'm gonna
get me a clean...
noticed the time flies by really quick actually so
it's already like two o'clock in the afternoon here so I need to speed up.
So I have to fight with the canvas a little bit.
A lot of transparent paint so this is really
on the canvas everything is still kinda flowing.
Usually when the paint dries I can get the paint onto my canvas better but
now since we don't have the time so I'm gonna paint just a little more aggressive.
So let's get to it.
Maybe I need to get rid of some paint. So I wanna bring this whole -
this chainmail out so I wanna get rid of this.
Okay so I need to
blast this out. Right now I'm gonna paint a little bit more opaquely
so I won't have to fight with the canvas.
I want to actually try to turn his
head over this way a little bit.
Get rid of some of this paint
here as well. Again I wanna get rid of those.
I don't want to waste time fighting against that.
I wanna shift the feature over a little bit.
Just that blue part.
That way I don't see
Okay that's better.
There we go.
Like I said I think
I'm gonna pace myself a little bit.
I want to get a gradation on that background when it goes over to the side.
Add a little bit of burnt sienna.
Get a little bit
This can be a little bit darker.
Use a larger brush.
Here is actually a little brighter on this side.
Add a little bit of yellow ochre.
Also I wanna get down here.
I have to wait until this part
dries, nothing can stick.
I was trying to get that gradation.
Use a softer brush.
If you use a stretch canvas, that can - because
stretch canvas it takes the paint better what will happen
is here probably
will sit. The problem is the red tone that I put down
again when it starts to dry up it creates
a kinda seal and almost kinda has that grease,
oil, grease on it. So that means it doesn't
absorb the rock canvas is not there anymore because you got this
oil sits on the surface. It's not absorbing the paint. On stretch canvas
or if I gesso this one more time myself
or twice and it will help actually to absorb the paint better
and, you know, so you wouldn't have that problem.
Or in this case also just
use see if the softer brush
Add some of the black.
Mix a light gray for the
Warm it up a little bit.
I'm changing the axis.
This side the light source is coming on the right side
Gets a bit darker.
The middle part of the chain mail is
a little bit darker.
There's some bluish to it, maybe just on the undercoat.
Underneath. I feel that there's some blue.
Let's push it a little bit yellower.
That hits here.
Here it gets super
Now that makes this feel
needs to be brighter.
Get a little bit of blue reflected light in the
shadows. Maybe add a little bit of this
And then when you put a pile of brushes on the side
and the brushes get to another
brush and start getting paint on the barrel and get to your
hands. Some people have these stands. Some people
put like rice and then you can just stick it into
Still finding that big shape.
Establish some of the more intense color.
Some of that white
Have that kick out that
line to his head.
Little bit yellow.
So not just pure white.
dominant side. And this side is your support. So again your eye falls this way.
Find the other highlight. We can tighten it up.
Kinda finding those
kinda anchor points.
Big strokes, I'm using kinda a small brush
so I have to remind myself big strokes.
I'm trying to get this
mimic texture so the fur rug
and some of this kinda rugged texture
in the shadows.
Do I want this - this kind
of feel like taking your eye out.
Watch out when you draw heads, in this case
this chainmail always gives the sense of how the cranium
fits. Cranium actually is wider actually than the face.
Make sure how the cranium fits inside the head so it doesn't feel like
it just kinda sits on the top.
It's like warmer red behind.
Got this warmer glow.
Again here's a little bit
darker. I still I want that flow but I don't wanna make it too light
because I want to
bring - still want to bring that side out.
I'm might put that shadow here.
Push it a little more.
repaint his facial features.
Now I can pick out the rhythm.
Push it this way.
Usually lips, again even in the darker shadows,
areas still make it a little warm. I add some of that
alizarin crimson just
the warm dark just to have that feel like the lips
glow kinda transparent, feel that
transparent shadows sits over on that red lips.
You guys can see this
model is amazing. I can't imagine myself sitting up there
for 25 minutes and just not even blink.
Like my body isn't built that way. I have to move around
like that's why I'm standing up and painting because I have to keep moving back and forth.
I think I'll be in pain if I'm
Make it a little dirtier but again
think of this plane, still think of this plane
light head - got this corner plane here is facing
the bottom so here should be darker than this, right, so let's make it a little bit darker.
This side should be a little bit darker.
Let's push it a little bit lighter.
Again always push it a little
more than you think.
That chain mail is tricky because
the local color on chainmail is gray.
It's a such a reflective surface, it reflects all the lights, it reflects all the color,
so it's constantly keeps staring at it, it keeps throwing different colors at you
so you have to keep reminding yourself
you know what's that,
you know, the key color, what's the origin color, what's that local color.
Now I keep staring at it I start seeing some red over here maybe because the
background, maybe because I'm staring at that red it just keeps, you know,
advanced into my eyes because the warm color again and start putting that red and
now it starts to feel like woah I don't want to get too crazy and start
you know getting out of the
control. So I back up,
you know I wanna make sure I get the
light and shadow shape, you know, correct first. So I'm gonna
go back to its original color which is gray.
I'm gonna do this thing what I did with the still life, the flower
creates a gradations so I won't be -
the problem with the cheap paint,
the student grade paint, is you see how that raw sienna, no matter
how much I put it doesn't really do much so it ends up you have to do a lot.
That's because they put more oil
in it and
so you get what you pay for.
But it's still doable because I've been doing - using
the same paint for the whole series.
Got to get this shadow though.
I think we're getting somewhere. I know there's still a lot to do
and we'll see how much we can get
how much we can get done.
So I wanna come back, put the blue part of the shirt
work on his face
a little bit, try to see if I can organize
this area a little bit and I think hopefully that's - I have
enough time to do all of that.
you know sit down in my chair,
I start seeing a few stuff. The first thing I
noticed is if I'm looking at the pose, his head and his shoulder
it doesn't, well his head doesn't quite flow
into his torso
now kinda feels graphic, you can't really read that but
because he's doing this kinda - shifting his shoulders.
But I'm not quite feeling that. I feel like his head is just kinda -
and his shoulder relationship is kinda stiff. I'm not getting a stretch
so because his shoulder kinda goes like this this side should be stretched, goes up,
kinda turns like this. So if I want to raise up this elbow
and trim this down
so we can get this, so we can get that tilt, get the
attitude. That's actually that's very important so let's do that first.
First thing I can do that by raising up the shoulder.
Because if you look at his shoulder line way above the chin.
Now I look at it I like what I'm seeing here. I see where that
black part of his sleeve
really kinda lifts up. Before maybe in the first set,
the chainmail maybe might drop down a little more but now I like
to see this actually shorter, this side a little more. I kinda - I like
Woah even this side,
shoulder needs to be much higher.
Up here, Jesus Christ,
it's way too low. See it's higher than his nose
I need to get rid of that red.
Again remember the painting is just a bunch of
corrections, as mentioned before.
I wanna warm it up a little bit.
Actually this comes down to here.
Come all the way down here. So actually this stays
about here, it doesn't come over.
I like that better. let's bring this up.
That shadow has to go up too.
Make this shadow a little bit lighter.
I have a glare so I just have to guess, can't really
gonna assume it's a little bit lighter. I can't see the difference.
Step back to see if he actually tilts.
I can also do - I can drop this side,
with my soft brush.
Actually I need to grab
well I just use this
so it's fairly small but I just
use it. So again this is a red sable.
So if I kind of drop this, make this...
See that helped to bring down weight a little bit.
I don't wanna make him like a cone head. I think I still need to
widen that cranium a little bit.
I'm still not satisfied.
Maybe I should move on to somewhere else first.
There's still more bigger stuff I need to work on.
Darken this shadow a little bit.
Give it a little of that highlight.
One thing about painting is we're not just
painting we're actually, if you can't, this is gonna be the idea if you're like painting
a rock or your painting water or you're painting a linear fabric
or you're painting a fur or you're painting something shiny or you're painting something textured
you know if you can mimic the textures
it gives you, like I said, another
depth of a reality.
Keep it clean.
Unify shadow shapes.
Connect them if you can.
I'm gonna trim this.
I see a nice shape right here.
Again see that nice black
That's a beautiful shape right there.
Flow to this.
In this case you have this flow up here, this flows this way, I'm gonna come over
It's gonna wrap behind.
Let's get that blue
part of the
outfit in there.
Find a clean brush. Maybe I can use this.
Though I like to use something more of a flat - let's just use this.
Okay I need a clean area.
Get rid of this.
Cut the intensity a little bit.
Still working on getting that blue shape.
Think of the graphic shape.
So now come down to the -
just forget - what would you call that?
Tunic. Okay so
hey Scott can you do me a favor, can you put the hand - exactly
yeah. Yeah so for that case like that
I will, you know, I will ask the model to change
because what he had, this part, was actually drooped down like this, which
you know, which we lost that dynamic
of that gesture, which is coming this way. Start feeling
kinda almost like a sad expression coming down
like this which I want this to lift up or feel
this compression coming from below, I don't want it to fall too
down I want it to move up. So I ask Scott
to push it back.
Again still get a sense of the
blue. I feel like it's - I need
Turns the balance.
It's all about balance.
And I like the kind of break.
In nature that happens a lot.
I'm just slightly below
this set up. That means I'm looking, you know, up
at him more at less I'm seeing less torso and more
bottom. If I make this chainmail too low I feel
like I'm not getting that perspective, the foreshortening.
Let's push this a little bit higher.
It's all - again it's all about
designing, not necessarily copy exactly what you see.
The reference does
give you a lot of what you need.
You have the right
to say something about it too so you can put your artistic
decision to make what at the end of the day
you know people are gonna be seeing this canvas so whatever is on this canvas
so whatever is on this canvas, it has to look pleasing, it has to look
good in terms of whatever you do.
That's better. That's better there.
I can't commit to what my
original lay in was, you know, let's
adjust accordingly. But again I like this shape better
I like now things, you can see, flow more fluidly.
Start getting this now.
Bring it up, this way, coming this
way. I like how again very
strong, clear overlap and value contrast. Like a dark
against the light, there's dark, light jigsaw puzzle into
shadow and then we can still connect
and we can separate.
Yeah I wanna stretch that
Now see how this, the lower part, merging
to that so that's in shadow.
So it's about the shape first.
Okay I'm gonna...
So I just have this kinda gray blue because
how I see it.
looks more yellow against the
rock reflected up to it.
Push it more.
See really push it.
this whole shape is - this kinda whole shape
is kinda destroyed. I need to come back to it.
Let's really fix that.
This got to be - this got to open.
It's coming like this.
So I'm gonna get this shape - involve this shape
I think now it's too low.
Keep it simple, the strokes.
I wanna give a glow behind him.
It got glare, a little harder
for me to see
Well maybe I shouldn't touch it for now. I will stand back and I will look.
to bring that foot back this way a little more.
Let's do that.
So because I know...
of it so you can, you know, you can actually
still adjusting your painting without the model to be there.
Just get the largest - the major idea, layout
is already there based on our model, now
it's about tuning everything that goes -
that kinda goes together. If you know where the gesture and where
all you shapes flow you can actually
do it without the model
being in front of you.
Comes in, comes this way.
Comes in like this.
I'm just trying to put some highlight, create that
flow. Again still trying to create that balance.
Let's make his skin color.
It's very warm.
Just grab all my warm paint.
Yellow ochre, raw sienna, red and burnt sienna. Just mix it
in one pile
Overall it has a little olive to it.
So you just kind of get a general, overall
I want it to be a little bit oranger.
Probably better to mix right now
not too lighter than too dark so
I want that face to pop.
Get that cheekbone.
to that side of the cheek gets a little greener. Already have some green here I can just
It's very warm
I feel like this actually
is redder than - a little more oranger than this side.
When I paint
the face I sculpt.
Now usually lips I usually like to push a little bit
more warmer than I see it,
it's kinda like a light pink up there, I'm gonna make it a little bit
I'm gonna push all the way up to the highlight.
I'll fix the expression. I don't feel the expression is right
yet but I'm just trying to block in the tone
The highlight goes around
Push that warm.
Bring up this side.
I wanna make sure to get the eye
socket shape right, that's...
I want to give that little
bit of evenness to it, so I need to hook up his -
his eye socket shapes.
And even back here it's hard to see what's
going on inside this socket but I know it's darker here.
Looks like his eyeball is right here.
I teach head drawing the same way I'm doing
here now. Get the socket first and then draw
that I've developed the shadow here, it makes this feel a little weak.
Actually the light is coming this way so the shadow should tilt, angle
this way a little more.
Let's pop in some
Let's take a break.
I kinda make him like a little
weird facial expression because you see how
his mouth is not quite lined up to the middle but it's alright.
I'm just gonna leave
it like that.
Actually I'm gonna make that nose a little bit orange, a little
bit darker so I can pop that highlight.
Making it darker.
Now that highlight will pop.
Again, remind myself don't overdo it.
Work somewhere else.
But I can't help it, I'm gonna work a little more on this head and then
afraid to, again, overpaint
and trim it off. That way you get even better edges,
In this case I kinda screw up the shape, didn't I?
But it's fine, let's do it again.
Actually if I don't talk much
I can - well two reasons, sometimes I'm just
thinking, analyzing. Again I can't really talk
and paint at the same time. And now it's because
I'm working on a small area. I need to avoid
my hand to shake so I need to also talk less so I can
have more focus a little more.
I wanted to get a little bit refined on the face because it's just
people look at the face first and for the rest
of the time that we have we only have a little more time left
than I want just to bring out a little bit of finish up for the rest of the
costume, not gonna be fully rendered like the face
and then - and that
probably will be, you know, will be this lesson. So I'm still not happy
with the socket shape.
Let me work on that a little more.
Make it a little warmer. Again
smaller, deeper area in the
on the figure actually is a quite warm.
I'm gonna leave that
for now, the paint is still kinda wet. Okay.
Open up that cheekbone.
Now I think it's getting a little
too much like this.
I still need to open this side up a little more.
I'm gonna cut this.
Darken this shadow
I'm gonna make it warm.
Widen that chin a little bit.
I'm gonna bring out this side of the cheek a little bit.
Push the half tone a little bit more.
Get some cooler shadow in there.
Can't see that glare over there.
I need to open this
side a little bit. I don't like this to be
too even, this shape right here.
I should make that lighter because that's a lot on the light side.
Really pop this.
Here it goes.
My back hurts
Actually so does the model's. It's a long day for us.
I'm gonna - I wanna stretch his face
a little longer, look a little more attractive. Right now it feels a little
And those are gonna extend so I'm gonna switch to my bigger brush.
Allow me to really make bigger decisions.
Open this a little bit.
Hopefully this brush will do it, I wanna make it.
Here we go.
See I think we're almost there.
Get a little more warmer.
At the end maybe I'll come back to it but...
I want to nail that
shadow on the side.
Start getting some variation in that chainmail.
Let's make this shadow a little smaller.
It's taking a little too much attention.
What happens when you push one part lighter it helps you get a sense of
where else needs to -
where else also needs to be
It's hard to get that shape right.
Go ahead you can
step down, I'm gonna keep working on this a
you saw earlier the model actually left
but I asked the model if I could take a picture of him because I feel like I
still have a little more work I need to do and then
well sometimes we do that in the
some models will charge a fee. You have to ask the model
permission to taking photo reference. You always have to do that, you can't just go snap a picture
of the model. And then - but
seeing as I have a little more work I wanted to do
so now I'm actually gonna be working off a photo
reference. But I'm still gonna keep it - I just need the photo reference
to refine some of the other elements because I was spending a lot of time
trying to get the face right. But I'm not gonna,
you know, spend time using reference for rending, I just wanted to get
everything kinda up to a
state that's, you know, that feels at least everything kinda works
kinda on the same level and - because
obviously we still need to spend a little more time getting
his costume right. Okay. So
But looking at the reference
sometimes it's great to look in at
a, you know, at a photo reference because the photo
tends to give you more clear graphic shapes. And then
now I can see there's things I can change a little more.
I can open this
a little bit.
I wanna focus -
focusing on this shape right here.
Push that a little bit darker.
Let's push it a little more. And I push darker and
shift the temperature a little bit too. This kinda blue shadow, add a little bit of a
burnt sienna to warm it up.
Let's work on that
of the costume.
Let me get that
that kinda goldish stripes
so get - need a sense
the stop, where the shape stops.
So I'm just going to use it
gamsol to pick up some of the paint.
This side as well.
Pick it up.
I feel like this is still too much in this
center. I want to push back a little bit. Maybe I'll put - let me get
This part of the sword first. And that can help me determine
where I wanna put that
get rid of that.
Got this kinda purplish finger.
A little warmer.
Kinda receiving light so it's a little bit
lighter and a little bit yellower. Help to bring that
darker, the handle of the sword,
will help to show it.
Bring this side of the elbow out because I wanna
again I wanna line up to this diagonal.
A little too dark.
Just bring this in.
Actually I wanna angle the shield a little more this
Bring this shape out.
I feel this is a little too close. Let's move this
away from that
than the set up.
I'm just gonna keep it the color - what I saw from the set up which is
a little bit grayer blue.
Because everything on the setup is more - has more of a stronger
Get rid of this.
See I feel like this if this - I like this but then I feel
like it leans so much, everything gets
a little too leaning off to the left side. I'm gonna
straighten this a little bit just to balance that
kinda just, you know, give it a little
bit of a balance.
Let's try to use that pure, ultramarine
And my, again, dark
I got glare, I can't see, but right now I'm just gonna make all
Just keep it
I probably wanna keep this a little stronger.
Clean up here.
Just get this.
I need to adjust the direction of the sword
Make this a little bit straight feeling.
It doesn't quite line up.
Okay let's darken around that sword.
That's very dark.
I wanna make this a little bit bigger
Looks like here
is a little bit lighter around
It helps to kinda get sense of where that
the back part of the
costume. So you can
able to see where it ends. This blue
harmonize, will relate to this blue.
The rock can tie
Gonna paint all this
black. So I'm gonna get rid of this otherwise I won't get a nice black down.
I'm gonna wet the canvas a little bit so I
wanna get like just a thin kinda black
on the canvas so I'm just gonna reactivate, make it a little -
just make it a little wet so I can.
So I'm gonna put down just kind of
a flow, thin layer of black. I don't wanna get it too
Wanna keep this edge more
I wanna darken this because I don't wanna take your eyes out.
If this is in the print, this part might be gets too dark so I'm gonna
lighten it up just a little bit.
Sometimes you have to consider how it looks in the print.
Ending it in the book or
I'm gonna refine the sleeve shapes.
That sleeve shape is also very important.
This part I need
to be careful because I know the photo reference is gonna turn out really bleached out white and flat
but on the live - from life I know it wouldn't be so bleached out
So get a little bit of highlight on that chainmail.
And now we're too dark.
I feel like that highlight
here gets a little pinkish.
That's too blue.
I'm trying to lift up this value because imagine I wanna
get a light silhouette like this out from this
dark red background.
Feels a little greenish in there.
That yellow works nicely with this
Push this back a little bit.
Put some of the
red in there. A little bit of red just to kind of
bring some of the background into
I feel like this is too concentrated. This light here is.
Spread it up a little bit.
Let's pop some highlight.
Let's give a little
push it a little bit more.
I think really I put the highlight in the wrong spot.
Clean everything up.
Almost there guys.
I think I'm just
getting some darker darks.
Soften that edge.
Highlight right there.
Trying to get that
half tone, kinda turn.
Catch the highlight on the nose a little bit more.
Let's call it shall we.
Alright, so again,
thank you for bearing with me.
I don't know how many hours we spent in this studio. So we actually
started off with a live model even though we had the model
come in for five hours, deduct the break, you don't
really get the full five hours, it probably ends up you get like maybe four hours maybe three and a half
so actually we did a combo. We did a model and later
finished out with the full reference. So
hopefully you guys get something out of this lessons, painting alla prima
is a dedication, it's a difficult skill, that's you know, again
requires consistency. So does figure drawing. So it's any
skill. But like I said
if you - actually it's great, you know, to work off a photo reference
as well because it helps train your eye to see things more simplified
and when you paint from life then you can actually use what you learned
from painting photos, apply that to studio
situation, also vice versa, you can do that, you know,
back into your studio as well. But all my friends, all my
professional artist friends, we all work from photo reference,
rarely people work from live models. It just
basically is too, you know, first of all it's kind of costly and second of all
because we spend so much time in our studio to produce, as you can see even
just a single figure takes hours.
But anyway so hope you guys get something out of it and so I will
see you guys next lesson.
if you can ask a friend, ask somebody that you know,
you know, this time you can set up a little more elaborate environment because you have more
palette, more colors. The person can wear also a little more
colorful outfit and paint maybe an hour or two, take pictures,
and finish off on a picture reference. I do that on my personal work all the
time. I'll actually hire a professional model in and, you know, paint them
a few hours then take a picture. Again if you don't have a friend or anybody you can
paint from, it's always fine to paint from photo reference. And again
New Masters has a lot of photo references you can use. Okay
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview2m 9sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Laying in the Composition26m 17s
3. Designing Shadow Shapes26m 20s
4. Blocking in Relationships27m 6s
5. Bringing Form to the Chainmail23m 37s
6. Blocking in the Face27m 0s
7. Gesture and Flow23m 59s
8. Adding Blue into the Tunic32m 18s
9. Rendering the Face29m 15s
10. Rendering the Face pt 227m 32s
11. Chainmail Adjustments27m 10s
12. Working from Photo Reference18m 43s
13. Wrinkles and Folds18m 53s
14. Depth and Shadow28m 27s
15. Final Touches21m 17s
16. Assignment Instructions51s