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Painting Faces with Oils

Discussion in 'Oils' started by OSS, May 26, 2018.

  1. Ronaldo A Fixture

    Not many English guys paint in oils these days but there still are a few notable ones and a couple of superb Scots .
    Look at Brian Snaddens face painting to see what can be done with oils and a little Humbrol paint , mind you he is a bit secretive :)
    Nap and grasshopper like this.
  2. OSS Active Member

    You have any links please
  3. grasshopper A Fixture

    Don’t sweat as many sources as much as finding a method that resonates with your style..when you see something that catches your eye, ask yourself why it works..what’s a primer doing, is it a primer that soaks a bit of the oils such as Citadel, or harder such as Mr Surfacer..do you use underpaint, or just the oils..if underpaint, humbrol soaks up, mixes a bit ..how long do you let the stuff dry..then wet on wet..etc..learn your paint properties re mixing, drying and opacity..it’s a journey and daunting..but thru it you get your own style, and learn control more than recipe, paint by numbers..
    malc likes this.
  4. smudger1960 PlanetFigure Supporter

    ive painted in oils since 1987 and ive never felt like changing,i do use acrylic basecoats,but all my projects are finished in oils,i was 27 when I brought my first oils in 1987,im now going on 58 and I wont change now,IMO its still the best painting medium for figure painting :smug:
    malc and Jaybo like this.
  5. grasshopper A Fixture

    Am near 70..and absolutely agree..but New Tricks was a TV show on BBC and not sure old digs can really be happy trying acrylics.
  6. pkessling Active Member

    Painting faces in oils was the only way for me. Even if I painted everything else with acrylics.
    For me, the base coat was very portent. I used Liquitex acrylics in the jar. Flesh mixed with a little tan. 2 or 3 thin coats so as not to show brushstrokes. Eyes were done with acrylics. A very light yellowish white for the eyeballs. Pupils and and irises were done with wooden toothpicks hardened with superglue. Gives a nice, round dot.
    Base coat done with oils mixed with a drop or two of Liquin for a slight sheen. Paints are not thinned, right out of the tube. Use a brush to spread the base color as thin as possible. Next shadow color painted on and blended wet on wet. Next a deeper shadow color, only in very tiny amounts. Blended wet on wet. Finally highlight and light highlights are each painted on and blended wet on wet. Then, I dried in a crockpot over night. After drying deep shadows and light highlights can be added back and blended in. Oils can lose some of the contrast after drying.
    Deconn, Nap, Tecumsea and 2 others like this.
  7. MCPWilk A Fixture

    I routinely use oils on faces and also on white clothing.

  8. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys

    I only use water soluable oils with my acrylics but this is a very interesting thread with members helping OSS with great comments .


  9. Dolf Active Member

  10. Bootneck Well-Known Member

    Coming to this thread late. I paint in oils, never been able to convert to acrylic.
    I have just painted my first face using Adrian Hopwood,s method. The pallet for skin tone is simply “Mars Brown & Titanium White “

    I undercoat with a skin tone acrylic first then applied the mars brown and titanium White mix. Keep the oil paint fairly thin so as the undercoat influences the final result. I believe if I vary the skin tone undercoat colour I will achieve most skin tones with the oils. So much easier.

    Thanks to Adrian for suggesting this method after years of attempting complicated mixes.
  11. malc PlanetFigure Supporter

    Pretty much the same only 61 almost, I did take a try with acrylics but did not get on with them.
    Tried using basecoat with acrylics and humbrol but did not like that either so I use just oils.

    I think in my only little head oils come down to how you apply them.

    One other thing...I don't have a standard pallet.
  12. rossbach PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hello Oss,

    Perhaps you want to take a look at the face and other flesh parts of this work in progress (althoug it is finished now).


    If you click on the first pick it can be enlarged to screen size. Pictures were taekn with flash so the actual colours are darker.

    The entire figure is painted in oils over an acrylic base.

    I'll post a pic of a figure I just started in a few minutes

    Cheers Paul
  13. rossbach PlanetFigure Supporter

    Two quick pics taken with my phone and using flash.

    The finished figure:


    Just started the face of a new figure:


    Sorry that they are lying. Click on show pic in original location and you get them in the upright position

    About the new figure I started. After clening and partial assembly the figure is primed using an airbrush and Tamiya light grey. Except for the flesh parts which are primed using Tamiya flesh.

    The next step was to paint the white eye parts. For this I mix white, yellow ochre and a spec of Venetiona red oil paint. To this mix I add a tiny amount of Liquin fine detail medium as it speeds up drying time. Placed under a 100 W lamp it dries in 15 minutes.

    After that the iris is drawn using dark brown oil paint. As you can see the eyes are turned to the left looking slightly upward. This makes the figure's face looking more focussed when finished.

    The next step will drawwing(correcting) the upper and lower eyelids using Vallejo flesh because I spilled some white and brown paint. This is important like this you determine the shape of the eye.

    After that I will draw a blackbrown line acrross the edge of the upper part of the iris and the upper eyelid and a slightly less dark brown along the edge of the lower iris part and the lower eyelid.

    In doing so I give the eye more depth and volume/definition. In the subsequent process of painting the face in oils the eye lids will receive highlights. And this will emphasize their shape.

    The purpose of this is to make the detail stand out in the end.

    After the eyes are finished I start painting the rest of the face applying my darker, base and lighter flesh oilpaint mix directly on the acrylic Tamiya base coat.

    I try to approach figure painting as filling in a colour plate/drawing. That's why i use the term drawing frequently.

    Cheers Paul
    malc and Gary D like this.

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