The art of portrait painting in oil colours
This informative book on portrait painting has been preserved for generations and fully deserves to to be available to all portrait artists online. While the art of portraiture has moved on, much of what was written is still valid and relevant to the modern day portrait painter.
Back to The Art of Portrait Painting
VEHICLES AND MEDIUMS
With regard to Mediums, there are many in use. Some artists employ drying oil and turpentine ; others add mastic varnish to these, and certainly that which has been most used is megilp, and perhaps this medium is more manageable by a beginner than any other. It is composed of nearly equal parts of drying oil and mastic varnish, slightly stirred, and allowed to stand until it has acquired a consistence sufficient to admit of its being removed to the palette with the palette-knife.
But inasmuch as painting is subject to continual capricious vicissitudes of manner and feeling, so frequent change is made in the technical means whereby it is sought to communicate a new character to painted surfaces. The rising school of English landscape painters, who work much in the open air, have adopted copal varnish as a vehicle whereby, in painting from nature, the greatest amount of work can be accomplished in the shortest time. It is now extensively employed in figure pictures, and also in portrait painting-pure or diluted, according to the experience of the painter ; but as it soon becomes ‘ tacky ‘ and dries quickly, it is very unmanageable in the hands of a beginner, requiring great rapidity and precision of manipulation. It may be diluted at discretion with drying oil or turpentine, but when used in any degree of strength it does not give the same softness to the features of women and children that is obtained by the use of oil alone, or oil with a proportion of varnish.
About John Payne
I’ve been a professional portrait artist for the last 12 years but have been painting for a lot longer . I started out by painting nothing but seascapes and still do the odd one from time to time , I then moved onto landscapes and wildlife paintings before I finally decided to concentrate on portraits.
I get commissioned to paint a lot of pets , mainly dogs – but I also get to paint a fair amount of portraits of people.
more about John John Payne