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Painting Process - Looking over the artist’s shoulder - 1/2

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Painting Process - Looking over the artist’s shoulder - 1/2

For that special gift, say on the occasion of a family birthday, you may wish order a reproduction oil painting online from

Our team of expert artists is ready to paint an oil painting of either a photographic portrait, like the family one below, that you email to them, or from your choices of an image of original artwork, supplied by yourself or chosen from our large museum of digital images.

Once one of our artists in his or her studio receives, say a family portrait from you, this what happens: If you had chosen the best quality linen canvas that we recommend, this material is cut to size and stretched out for the initial charcoal or pencil drawing to be made. If you were able to be looking over the artist’s shoulder, these are the steps that you would see over a few days:

Already good likenesses of the four good-looking members of this family are being accurately sketched onto the canvas.

Then come the initial good quality oil paint being applied. For amateur painters, this is often a nervous moment when permanent oil paint is being first applied to your good drawing and good canvas.

As in a portrait, the face is first point looked at by anyone looking at the painting, and this is naturally tackled first by the painter. The first light undercoating is being brushed on here on the face and hair.

The painter knows that many paint layers will be built before the picture is finished, so he works on that basis, mindful how the semi-transparent layers will work with work with each other on the faces and applies paint accordingly.


As the happy faces are starting to come alive on canvas, it’s time to fill in the background colors to support further the faces standing out in a three-dimensional way.

More rich browns and greys are being applied in the background and more paints are being molded on faces, especially the lovely one of the mother. Notice also the free brush strokes being applied in the background as this particular painter enjoys his painting, as all painters have done in history. Time has to be allowed for the layers of oil paints to dry, so the complete process can last a few days.


It’s all looking good!


As the artist is painting from a photograph, a lot of photographic lighting qualities of this formal indoor shot are being faithfully reproduced here.

The fact that all the sitters wear dark clothes against a dark background, focuses more attention on the heads and faces, and become more a study of individual expressions and personalities.

It’s an age-old technique, perfected for examples by Rembrandt in his revealing portrait studies of his subjects.

Voilà, c’est finie! That is how your commission will look on your wall.

The customers can smell the oil-paint finish as they enjoy the painterly quality, of the nuances of complementary colors shining through transparent layers, that arguably is best seen in an oil painting.

The rich auburn hair color is echoed in the background to the right. Details of faces, smiles and the flow of the little girl’s abundant hair, can be enjoyed for a long time to come, even when she cuts her hair short in as she grows up.



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