HOW TO PAINT WONDER WOMAN / GAL GADOT ✦ VIBRANT COLORS PORTRAIT ART – Annotated Tutorial


In these days, oil painting is mainly used to create works with natural shades. However, it is perfectly possible to create works with “VIBRANT” colours by following these few tips. 1- Use a smooth, carefully sealed support. In this case, I used a wooden panel on which I applied 2 coats of sealer + 2 coats of gesso. This prevents the paint from being absorbed into the substrate. 2- Create a “GRISAILLE” underpainting. This allows you to focus only on the “VALUES” without being distracted by the “COLOURS”. To do so, I used mixtures of Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White. It is necessary to create a grisaille as perfect as possible since it will be visible through the final painting. So take your time… 4- Add a drop of linseed oil to the colours on the palette. This makes the paint more fluid and transparent. The “GRISAILLE” underpainting was dry to touch. I applied the colours as I would with makeup. I used some smooth filbert brushes to avoid scratching the underpainting. I used colours a little lighter than the desired final effect. The oil paint will become a little darker as it dries because the previous colours will show through. I used a mop to blend the colours well for a more natural effect. I was very careful not to lose the nuances I have just applied. When I applied dark colours, I tried not to contaminate them with light colours. 5- Use over-saturated colours. I will be able to adjust them in the following steps I used a flat brush to create the hair strands. I used a mixture of Titanium White and Cobalt Blue to obtain a very opaque color. I added a little Cerulean Blue for the lighter area. The fan brush was very useful to soften brush strokes. 6- Use multiple layers of paint to achieve the desired colour density. Here, I started painting the Wonder Woman costume using mixtures of Vermillon (opaque) and Alizarin Crimson (transparent). For the golden parts I added mixtures of Cadmium Yellow Pale, Yellow Ochre and Vandyke Brown. I also created textures by applying the paint unevenly. I used Titanium White to define the contours that reflect light. See how over-saturated colours are neutralized at this step. The transparency and the vibrance of Wonder Woman’s “Lasso of Truth” were a great challenge for me. 7- Work wet on wet so that the colours are well blended. I will apply several thin layers of Titanium White to obtain a glowing effect at the end. Back on Gal Gadot’s face. Again, the paint is dry to touch. This step allowed me to add an extra layer of colour to the brighter parts like lips. 8- Add one more drop of linseed oil to the colours on the palette to comply with the “FAT OVER LEAN” rule. It will prevent the paint from cracking as it dries. I also took this opportunity to accentuate the shadows and lights. 9- Don’t overdo it. The oil that was added to the paint helped me to soften the shades well. But I had to be careful not to cover up the work done previously. Fortunately, I was able to use a Q-tips or a clean dry brush to wipe away wet paint that could have been applied somewhere by mistake. As you can see, Gal Gadot is becoming more and more recognizable. 10- “SFUMATO”? It is a painting technique for softening the transition between colours, mimicking an area beyond what the human eye is focusing on, or the out-of-focus plane. (Wikipedia) That means that everything must be slightly blurry to look realistic. I tried not to paint eyelashes and eyebrows too defined. Otherwise, they would have looked like they’re not part of the painting. Also pay particular attention to the curvature of the lashes. 11- Don’t make the eyes white too white. 12- Pay attention to the subtlety and complexity of the transition from head to neck. The hair was dry to touch so I started with the dark areas. I went straight to the lightest parts, being careful not to touch the dark parts. It would have created grey hair. I joined the light and dark areas using Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson or Yellow Ochre. For the Wonder Woman’s Tiara, I proceeded in the same way as for her armor. At this point, I had to adjust the background colour because it affected my perception of Wonder Woman’s colours. Indian Yellow (transparent) was the secret ingredient for the radiant effect of the lasso. Here, I applied another layer of a mixture of Vermilion and Alizarin Crimson to obtain a bright red. The final touch… I added a little background colour to work on the delimitation of hair wet on wet. 13- Keep colour mixes simple so that they can be repeated if necessary without creating a markdown. This is how I obtained this portrait with very vibrant colours using oil paint. Wonder Woman – Oil on Birch – 30″ x 30″

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