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How To Do Oil Paintings From Photos

How To Do Oil Paintings From Photos

Learn how to paint a portrait from a photograph using oils in this easy-to-follow guide from creative artist and specialist in oil painting, Marcia Kay Ellis.

Top Tips

  • Take note of the position and direction of the light in the photo. Getting highlights and shadows right in your painting will bring it to life, giving it depth.
  • Mix all the colours you expect to use in your painting before you begin. With flesh tones it is better to mix more than you think you will need as it is difficult to get the exact same shade when mixing a new batch.
  • There is usually one eye's width between each eye and the top of the eyes are in line with the top of the ears, approximately halfway down the face. The bottom of the nose is halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the chin, and the middle of the mouth halfway between that again. Of course this is if the face is facing straight to the camera, which is usually not the case, so be aware of what you are looking at in the photograph and take time to notice where the features of the face lie in relation to each other.