Oil painting tips, critiques?

arnaquerarnaquer LEXRegistered User regular
I recently tried my hand at oil painting, I've never used them before.

I'm in the process of making a realistic style Zelda portrait, but I'm not sure on what to do for the background. I'm considering a silhouetted forest scene, but am worried about making it too dark. I'm having a "I have no idea what I'm doing" moment.

Also hair. Someone please give me tips on how to paint hair.


Feel free to comment, critique, share your own.


  • Options
    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Welcome to the AC!

    You may want to look around and get a feel for the forum. Generally when artists first turn up, we ask about their goals and want to see a few pieces, We want to help you with your individual pieces by critiquing your general skillset, and pushing you to exercises that will help you accomplish your goals.

    Oil is a beast of a medium, and I don't have much input on using it, I never overcame it in college. I can say though, it looks like there's some issues with your drawing more structurally. How often do you draw and paint? Have you ever taken any classes? Is this a hobby, or would you like to pursue it professionally? The more information we have, the better.

  • Options
    MeGiantMeGiant Artist San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Cool painting! Hair itself is always tricky. A lot of it i think comes down to understanding the busy/rest, thick/thin area of the hair. if you can see the overall shape of the hair, I think you can then use your judgement in how to break it up.

  • Options
    franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    Ok so oil has been my medium of choice for a year and a half now and it gets easier I promise. Dutch painters used darker backgrounds to help excentuate the focal point or points. By keeping your background in the darker ranges it can help with the drama.
    Painting hair can be one of three ways that I currently know how to do and have successfully executed myself.
    1. Paint the value shapes
    2. Paint every hair or make an attempt to paint every hair (gonna need a smaller brush)
    3. Paint light over dark using a comb brush

    YouTube has some good videos on drawing hair with graphite. As much as I want their to be a video of painting hair, I have just had to adapt the pencil techniques to painting. It came with much floundering, but you'll get the hang of it. You'll need to do about 500 paintings before you feel like you own all the tools in the box. Keep up the good work!

    P.s. The less paint/pigment you start with when setting in your color/value relationships, the easier it is to create texture and not a muddy mess. Wet on wet can be tricky on tricky. Semi-pro tip from a tromp loi book I read, start like you are painting with watercolor, only use solvent and a tiny bit of the object color.
    Semipro tip2 don't paint wet over wet onto a emprimatura or monochromatic value painting.

Sign In or Register to comment.