In this next update of a wedding portrait in progress I talk about how I improve the skin tones of the Bride and Groom and refine their facial features further.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series you can see how the faces of the happy couple are loosely established with thinner layers. The images below show how the paint is built up in blocks of tone before being gradually blended.

Blocking in an Oil Painting Portrait of a Bride

Image 1 | Blocking in the face of the Bride

Oil Painting of a Bride and Groom in Progress

Image 1: Here you can see how I continue to refine the facial features of the Bride trying to improve the accuracy. With Naples Yellow and a little Titanium White I establish the mid tones of the skin against the darker areas that I block in with combinations of Cadmium Red, French Ultramarine and Sap Green.

Stages of an Oil Portrait Painting

Images A, B & C | Progress of portrait of Groom

Images A & B: Turning my attention to the Groom, you can see how I start to capture a more accurate likeness in these shots. I spend some time on his eyes, eyebrows and skin tones before picking out some of the highlights of his hair.

Image C: Using Liquin I carefully blended the Groom’s hairline before improving the likeness of the mouth with a detail brush. The skin tones are cooled down with Sap Green and French Ultramarine helping to achieve a better balance.

Wedding Portrait Painting in Progress

Image 2 | Softening and blending the skin

Image 2: 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 3).

Balancing Skin Tones

Balancing skin tones of a wedding painting

Image 3 | Balancing skin tones

Image 3: After focusing more attention on the Groom you can now see how the double portrait is starting to work much better. It’s especially important that from now on I consider the tones and hues of both sitters together. I sometimes find myself advancing one of the sitters far more than the other which can bring challenges as I try and ensure the tones compliment each other.

Picking Out Highlights

Painting of a Bride's Eyes

Image 4 | Improving the Bride’s eyes

Painting showing highlights and detail of the Bride's eyes

Image 5 | Highlights and detail of the Bride’s eyes

Images 4 and 5: As you can see across these two images I’ve started to improve the Bride’s eyes. By picking out some highlights and detail of the eyelashes she starts to look more lifelike.

I’m looking forward to tackling the detail of the wedding tiara, earring and necklace. The highlights of the jewellery should help create pockets of detail and interest across that area of the painting.

Other Progress Updates:

Part 1 – Initial blocking in and under-painting
Part 2 – Building up of oil paint layers and consideration of background
Part 3 – Reworking the sky and blending clouds
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.