LEARN TO PAINT REALISTIC OIL PAINTING LIKE A PRO-ARTIST WITH ANIRUDH KHANNA
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Orignally Written by Anirudh Khanna
Learn to paint
If a beginner wants to learn painting like a pro-artist, then must read this article which tells you regarding the journey of mine from beginner to an artist.
Painting anything (like abstract work, surrealism work or any kind of work) is completely different from painting a realistic photo (landscape scenery or portrait). It requires the focus on each step (described in article later) of painting with the labor work for an artist. The content in this article will help to connect you to the right online free teaching sources of every steps of realistic oil painting and helps you to avoid the common mistakes every beginner artist does.
I am an undergraduate architecture student and a self-learned artist who tries to think out of the box and try to find the connection of art and architecture by my analysis. I used to paint water color on the normal paper before coming to the architecture college. I had fascinated by the selling price of painted work of one my classmate in my first year of architecture and started painting canvas after that. I never knew that google itself is the source of so much knowledge to learn anything if a person is really seeking in the right way for his/her destination.
You can observe the improvement in my painting skills on my official Instagram account.
As architecture institute provide less information about fine arts, major mistake I did is before studying what how to paint a realistic painting, I started investing my father’s money into painting without getting the right guidance. Resultant my earlier realistic painting figures were sometimes disproportionate, or color I do in my paintings did not match with the original colors of the photo.
STAGES TO PAINT REALISTIC PAINTINGS
3 stages for making perfect realistic paintings:
TRANSFER THE EXACT PROPORTIONATE FIGURES FROM PHOTO TO CANVAS
PERFECTION IN MAKING OF EXACT COLORS REQUIRED TO PAINT, WITH REQUIRED MATERIAL
APPLICATION OF PAINTS ON CANVAS
HOW TO TRANSFER THE EXACT PROPORTIONATE FIGURES FROM PHOTO TO CANVAS
It is essential to draw the exact proportionate figures on canvas, but challenge is to enlarge the photo with the exact proportions into the large canvas.
As an architecture student, I used to do scaling of the plans and sections on AutoCAD so that I can get larger prints of A1 size or smaller print of A4 size. But it was slightly tedious task for me to do the same for the enlarging the photo-figures on canvas, as no computer software was involved into this.
There are plenty of tutorials for the enlarging the photo figures into canvas. One of the techniques is Grid Method.
Click on the link below to learn how to make the exact proportionate drawing:
If you are making grids on canvas using lead or charcoal pencil, then avoid applying oil colors directly on the grid because lead will smug with the original oil colors applied on the canvas.
Applying fixture spray after making proportionate figure on canvas and then put oil colors on the canvas.
Alternative method to transfer the figure into the canvas is Tracing Method. If you have the provision of getting the larger printout of the photo you want to make, then it will make your task much easier. See the link below to learn that:
Other method of transferring the photo is Projector Method. It includes the electronic device projecting the image to be paint on canvas. See the link below to learn this technique if you have provision of projector at your home:
All the method above will get you accurate result till now, the basic difference is the cheapest method cost you more labor, i.e. Grid Method. The easiest method will cost you more, i.e. Projector Method.
HOW TO GET PERFECTION IN MAKING OF EXACT COLORS REQUIRED TO PAINT, WITH THE REQUIRED MATERIAL
For the accuracy of the colors in the oil painting, making of exact color required in the painting is extremely important part. There are thousands of colors of various brands but a beginner can’t make the exact color required, reason being lack of right guidance. . The free online link below the will show you the importance of color making and procedure of making your own color charts to understand the difference in each color before actually applying it.
Initially when I started painting abstract work or pop-up art, I did little variation in color while copying the art work which is not observable, but I switched to make a realistic painting, two things became great challenges: first to make the exact color required in the painting and second making that same color again for completing the painting if required. Little variation of colors does not bother me initially but making that same was a serious cause of worry because I don’t remember exact proposition of combination of two colors and even sometime what were the two colors required to make required new color. Architecture has nothing related with the making of colors in detail, therefore that study couldn’t help me. Resultant, realistic paintings were not like pro-artist.
Understand the significance of each color and make your own color chart. List of the materials required to make the oil colors charts are:
Large color palette
Brushes of variable sizes
Basic elementary oil colors
Oil color sheet (for your own color chart)
See the link below for free online learning tutorials of how to make color chart and significant of each color:
There are many videos for making color chart, but artist Thomas Baker has made this lesson in the right manner for all the beginner artists. Go through all the parts of making colors as complete knowledge is considered the best one. Purchase the mentioned colors in the tutorial and explore the process of making different variable colors out of 6 basic elementary colors and 6 earth colors.
APPLICATION OF PAINTS ON CANVAS
Now we are ready with the exact colors and perfect sketch on the canvas. But the real work of focus starts from this stage of painting earlier was a more over labor work and now its combination of observation, focus and labor.
When I got to know how to make a perfect realistic painting, I still can’t reach to that perfection. Probably because there is no restriction of time to complete a painting which made me lazy to continue the work of painting. I am an architecture student never knew that my hobby can become my part time profession in the college life until I got my first order of portrait painting from my senior in my third year. I thought I can make a photo realistic painting because I knew all the steps, but I haven’t practice much of painting the colors what I made from the color chart. Now time is limited to complete the order which create pressure and I couldn’t make it worth selling because application of colors can’t be learn just by watching any painting tutorial. I have to paint again and again to understand the importance diluted colors, application of wet paints on dry paints, where to soft or hard brushes and the things like that. More painting I made, lesser time it takes to paint the next one.
Watch an artist to paint or watch tutorials. Observe the nature of dilute or thick color and analyzing the application of that at the proper place is important. Usage of the soft brushes in smudging and hard brushes in giving patches when dealing with oil colors. The things like that will improve your analysis of understanding the complete way of painting. For your convenience, link below will connect you with the free online tutorials to make what kind of realistic painting of want, or you can search you by your own on net. Some of the links which I prefer are:
For realistic portrait painting:
For landscape paintings:
COMMON MISTAKES: online watching the video won’t help you and start practicing the same will lead you to the conclusion which can be good or bad.
SOLUTION: Analysis of the conclusions should be kept in mind and try to use it in the next painting.
All the painting tutorials describe how to paint anything into four simple steps of painting oil on canvas, I have tried to relate it with the new trendy mobile application PRISMA:
After sketching the exact figures, Paint the whole canvas the whole canvas by making broad division (using straight lines or curves) of exact color required for painting, using color chart. Don’t focus on minute details initially. It may look something blurry at the starting, but this is the first coating of oil colors on canvas.
Step 2: After the first coat of oil colors start introducing more specific colors with the smudging by soft synthetic brushes, linseed oil can be used for the same. Don’t let your painting dry before completing first and second step. As a beginner you should know u can put another color on wet or dry color paints when you are dealing with oil colors.
Step 3: when your painting is semi- dry, start doing detailing of the focus portion of the painting first (here: face and fingers). Details should be painted in parts and required lot of preparation of making the exact required colors. Patience leads the role with focus. Your hand should have the stability and you must know where to put patch of color and where to smudge. Small size brushes are used for the detailing. It will definitely take more time to get the job done but your painting will start looking realistic after you get it done properly.
Step 4: when your painting is completely dry, make the final finishing touch using black and white color mostly. Use other color also if you need to require the translucent objects (like glass effect) use oil paints with Alkyd solution on the dry canvas. Your final realistic canvas is ready.
After completing the painting, put vanish on your painting to make is dirt, dust and moisture resistant.
You can write your review and any query regarding to the realistic oil paintings. You can contact me on:
Linkedin: Anirudh khanna