This week I set up my new studio in the spare room of our new house!! All very exciting, the most exciting thing is that my studio looks out to my backyard- and our beautiful orange tree! So. Happy.
I havent painted anything in months, so am here starting a newbie and thought I’d do a demo on painting red hair in oil paint. It’s actually a simple process to get to this stage. In my next post I will go about finishing the hair in more detail with tips on getting the hair to look shiny and much more realistic.
Photo above: Firstly as with all of my oil paintings I start with an acrylic wash, just to add a bit of colour to a stark white canvas, and also to place my darks in. These darks will act as an underpainting for when I paint the darks in oils. Dark oil paint is usually transparent so this method saves me repeating layers in oil paint to get colour opacity.
Above photo: Now with my oil paint I mark in the dark areas of the hair using a burnt umber. I then mark in the highlights of the hair in a yellow ochre light.
Above photo: I then mark in the medium colour of the hair, this will be a red head so thats why the burnt orange is the chosen colour. I used cadmium red and yellow ochre to get this shade. Now that all of the colours are blocked in I am ready to blend.
Above photo: With a stiff bristly brush about 10mm wide (the painting is 14′ x 18′) I paint from the crown of the hair all the way to the ends of the hair following the flow of the hair strands. Make sure to clean your brush with each brush stroke as the paint build up by brushing through the hair strands, will dirty up your new brushstrokes. This is a super easy way to paint hair and get realistic hair flow marks and colour differentiation using colour and tone. I’ve stopped here and will now let this layer of oil paint dry.
Once the paint is dry I then go over the whole hair with a cadmium glaze. A glaze is a mixture of medium (I use Windsor and Newton Liquin medium and paint). By mixing the paint with Liquin you create a semi transparent layer, and in this case this semi transparent layer of cadmium red played over the entire hair area enhances the red hair.
Painted with love,
Wolfgang and Rose xox