In this second update of a portrait in progress I show how the layers of paint are built up and the background is developed further. The oil portrait on canvas is of a happy couple on their Wedding Day.

In Part 1 of this blog series you can see the very early stages of the portrait where values are established using a thin under-wash painting in loose brushstrokes. The thickness of the different layers is particularly noticeable when comparing the Groom’s suit in the more recent photos below.

Progress of a Wedding Portrait Painting in Oils

Image 1: By this stage I have moved the portrait on further through building the layers of paint on the Groom’s suit jacket and trousers and loosely picking out the most prominent flowers of the Bride’s bouquet.

Double wedding portrait painting in progress

Image 1 | Building layers on the Groom’s jacket and the Bride’s bouquet

Image 2: I considered the background further, introducing clouds and trees to help balance the composition. I also painted hills on the horizon to start achieving a sense of perspective and depth. The hills are based on the Pennines as the Bride grew up in Lancashire while the wedding reception was held at Eaves Hall in the Ribble Valley.

Please excuse the yellow hue of this shot, as the photo was taken on my iPhone in a warm light.


Portrait in Progress of Wedding Couple with Pennines

Image 2 | Consideration of the background

Image 3: At this point I have progressed work on the Bride and Groom’s faces, softening and blending the skin. I have altered the Groom’s hairline and made his eyebrows less prominent (these features can be seen clearer in image 4).

I have improved the basis of the wedding dress and veil, glazing the latter so that the greenery of the background can be made out through the material. I have also picked out the colours of the cravat and waistcoat more accurately.


Wedding portrait painting in progress

Image 3 | Softening of skin and improvement of Wedding Dress


Close Up of Portrait in Progress

Image 4: While the painting still requires a lot more work this close up shot shows how the happy couple are really starting to appear on the canvas. I’m looking forward to refining the facial features further and picking out the beautiful details such as the Bride’s tiara and Groom’s buttonhole.

Close up of Wedding Oil Portrait in Progress

Image 4 | Close up of Bride and Groom portrait in progress

I’ll provide another update soon as I start to painstakingly capture the intricate detail of this double portrait.

Other Progress Updates:

Part 1 – Initial blocking in and under-painting
Part 3 – Reworking the sky and blending clouds
Part 4 – Improving the skin tones of the bride and groom
Part 5 – Refining the detail of the bouquet and wedding dress
Part 6 – Painting the tiara and a bold change to the background
Part 7 – Finishing touches and oiling out

You can now view the completed wedding portrait in my portfolio and find out more about it here.