Here is my latest painting showing the stages of creation from the photograph, then the sketch, followed by the thin oil wash. Next the background is painted in, followed by the subject, then lastly all the detail until the painting is finished.
This is the original photo of Leo for reference. My customer wanted the painting on a canvas size 16″x12″ with a plain background.
Initial Drawing in Ink
The sketch in ink is a very crucial part of the process as it marks out were all the colours and shades go. Don’t worry at this stage if it doesn’t look like your picture as this is the first stage of many. I call this stage the “painting by number” stage complete.
The wash of thinner oil colour or the underpainting is very important as it conceals the ink sketch and creates a great basis for the oil painting.
I usually like to paint the background in first and overlap the paint over the lines into the subject. This is why I use ink as the initial sketch as it shows through so when I paint the subject in, there is a nice clean, crisp edge.
This is the most exciting part. I love when the painting starts to take shape and come to life out of the canvas. It excites me every time as every painting is unique.
This stage is about observing the photo and putting all the detail in and making the painting look more real. At this stage, I start observing from top to bottom making sure everything is right.
The Finished Painting
I hope you have enjoyed the journey of seeing my painting of Leo come to life from start to finish. I take a huge pride in my paintings and my best feeling is the reaction of my happy customer when they see their finished oil painting for the first time.