The Old Man Portrait Painting In Acrylic
This Acrylic portrait painting was commissioned by a son for his father's 85th birthday gift. His father was completely fit at this age and happily agreed for the photo shoot for this painting. From multiple photographs, I have decided to take this profile picture for my project. This profile has the expression that I was looking for. I have found a beautiful eye expression here, though it was tough for him to tackle the strong sunlight for that moment. Dark background really highlighted his blond hair beautifully. I have used five brushes for this painting. Two of them are hog hair flat of size 10 and 8, other is size 6 filbert and two synthetic brush of size 0 and 2. Let's discuss the steps that I followed during this painting.
Preparing The Sketch
I usually transfer my image from paper to canvas by tracing with a carbon paper. I don't use a new carbon, instead, I use an old one. It reduces the worry of smudging. I usually prefer to draw an outline over the pencil lines with earth to prevent smudge. In this case, I am using Burnt Umber.
First Layer Of The Skin Tone application
I don't follow any hard and fast rules for applying a skin tone in a portrait painting. In this example, I have lightly applied a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Zinc White as a first coat. Using White with Burnt Sienna makes it opaque. Which gives an even base for the face to work with. And yes, I am experimenting with some Crimson and White here and there in this stage.
Adding shadows and Highlights
In this stage, I have tried to add more depth in the face. I am using Ultramarine Blue with Crimson and little White for that purpose. I have applied Yellow Ochre with Cadmium Yellow Medium very lightly to give the expression of sunny reflection of the skin. For the darker tone, I use Ultramarine Blue with Crimson and a little bit of Yellow Ochre. In this stage I have applied the background to give myself the idea of tonal depth
Working with Shadows and Cloths
In this stage I am adjusting the darker side of the face with Ultramarine Blue, Crimson and White. I am using Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow Medium for a warmer tone on the sun reflected areas. I have lightly applied the background with Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue for the feeling of depth of field. For the shirt color, I have used Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Crimson with little Burnt Umber and White. For highlighted areas in the shirt, I have used Yellow Ochre with Cadmium Yellow and White.
Playing with Highlights and Shading continues
Mixing and blending continue until I get the desired color tone on the face. I have used a pinch of Cobalt Blue for highlighting the shadow areas on his face. It is actually the environmental reflection of the sky color. I have used White along with a pinch of Cadmium Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, and Cobalt Blue Hue for the soft blond hair. You can see, the face is nearly completed at this stage, but the neck area still has works to do. I usually work the neck area later, because it has a slightly darker tone than the face.
The Final Touches
This is the right time to add some texture to the skin surface of the face. I have darkened the shadow area of the face with Cobalt Blue and Ultramarine Blue mixture with a glazing technique. The detailing areas of the hairs, eye reflections, eyebrows, spectacles, age marks on head and Shirt collar linings are carefully achieved by a rigger brush.
I am sharing these stages of the painting with you to give an idea that how I made portraits with acrylics. Your techniques may differ from me. I will love to hear from you in the comment box.
PORTRAIT PAINTING WITH ACRYLIC PAINT LIKE OIL IN REAL-TIME. A FULL LENGTH VIDEO OF MIXING AND BLENDING ACRYLIC COLORS FOR ACHIEVING SKIN TONE USING WATER AS MEDIUM.