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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TULIP DEMO

Painting Lessons/Demos
Contemporary Art




Oil Painting Lesson/Demo
by Beatriz Socorro

Beatriz Socorro - Pink Tulip

Before you begin, please go to and read:



STEP 1 - The most important and most time-consuming step for me is deciding what I am going to paint and which colors I'm going to use.  Once this is accomplished, half the work is done.

For reference, I have a vast collection of  photos which I have taken throughout the years as well as public domain photos that I have found while surfing the Internet. I browse through these until I have found the ones that call me.

Once the subject matter has been settled,  I sketch it first on a piece of paper where I also make all the necessary corrections. Once I am satisfied with the sketch, I  trace it unto the canvas. I use charcoal to trace the drawing. Since the charcoal tracing will smear all over the canvas when I apply the paint, I  go over it with a pencil and then  remove as much of the charcoal as possible with a paper towel.

For the first layer I use, as a medium,  a mixture of 3 tablespoons turpentine, 1 eyedropper damar varnish, 1 eyedropper linseed oil.

STEP 2 - Fill in the background.


STEP 2 - oil painting demo
STEP 3 - Fill in the dark, medium and light colors of the flower.


STEP 3 - oil painting demo
STEP 4 - with very gentle and light brush strokes blend in the colors.

STEP 4 - oil painting demo
NOW ALLOW  THE  PAINT TO DRY TO THE TOUCH BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER.


STEP 5 - I didn´t like the way the right petal stuck to the center, so I expanded it a little. Then I lightened up the highlights and darkened the shadows. The light is coming from the left.

For the flower, I used a mixture of carmin + white + barely a touch of magenta. The different shades are all from these same colors. If you mix more than three colors at a time, your paint will look muddy.

Now I fill in the leaves using the same procedure as the flower. First the dark, medium and light colors are added and then gently and lightly blended with a brush. For the leaves, I mixed chrome green + white + touch of ceruleum blue.


Step 5 - oil painting demo


Detail Step 5 - detail tulip

For the flower, since this is the 2nd coat, I used a mixture of 3 tablespoons turpentine + 3 eyedroppers damar varnish + 3 eyedroppers linseed oil.

For the leaves, since this is their 1st coat: 3 tablespoons turpentine + 1 eyedropper damar varnish + 1 eyedropper linseed oil.

I then add drop by drop of this mixture to my paint and mix it well, to achieve the consistency I desire. Make sure you dont' over do it, since too much medium can weaken the pigments in your paint.

NOW WAIT FOR THE PAINT TO DRY TO THE TOUCH BEFORE YOU ADD THE FINISHING TOUCHES.

STEP 6 -   In this case, even though I liked the background and even though it looks good on the blog, in real time with room-lighting, the flower lacks contrast and tends to blend with the background. Since this is not the effect I want to achieve at this time, I made a few changes to make the main subject stand out. I added a little bit more white to the highlights and slightly darkened the shadows. I also changed the background to a darker color. Notice that it is even darker around the flower itself. 

Areas with high contrast attract the eye and come forward.

Since I want to achieve a feeling of depth, I barely lightened the shorter leaf. This is another rule of painting...warm colors come forward and cool colors recede.  This is important to keep in mind when trying to convey a 3D feeling not only through light and shadow but also through color.

Since this is the third layer, the medium I used is a mixture of 3 tablespoons of turpentine + 3 eyedroppers of damar varnish + 5 eyedroppers of linseed oil.

It´s also important to realize when enough is enough. I´ve ruined more than one painting because I didn´t  know when to stop.


9x12 oil on canvas board

If this is your first visit, be sure to check the archives.

God Bless!

Beatriz Socorro




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