oil painting

How to Glaze an Oil Portrait Course – New Course!

by Will Kemp oil painting

How to Glaze an Oil Portrait for Beginners Course When I was trying to find my way in portraiture, I’d spend hours studying Old Master paintings thinking “Wow, how did they do that?” I was flummoxed. Not only did the skin look realistic, but they’d managed to capture those bluish grey tones that lie just […]

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New Year, New View? How a Few Small Changes Influenced my Portrait Painting Style

by Will Kemp oil painting

There was a small sign that hung below an empty black space, it read ‘In Prestito‘. On loan. Last Summer I was back in Florence, Italy, to visit one of my favourite paintings that had enticed me to the city over 10 years ago. The only problem was, when I got to the gallery, the […]

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Inside Rembrandt’s Studio

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Earlier in the Summer, I took an impromptu trip to see ‘Late Rembrandt‘. It was the first time that an exhibition had been solely dedicated to Rembrandt’s late works. Many of the most famous paintings that he produced in the last 15 years of his life had been brought together from museums and private collections […]

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7 Questions every Artist needs to ask before Varnishing an Oil Painting

by Will Kemp oil painting
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An Introduction to Varnishing an Oil Painting As we’ve discussed in 3 Reasons why artists varnish their work (and why some artists don’t) varnishing is primarily an aesthetic choice on the final finish of your painting. Not only can it really bring up the vibrancy and richness in your realist paintings but it offers protection for […]

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Glossary for Oil Painting terms – The essential guide for beginners

by Will Kemp oil painting
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I was standing at the front of a queue in a packed art shop in London. There were 15+ people crammed in behind me and I felt more embarrassed than I could remember. I had been a researching new art materials and product releases, I’d spotted something new out and I was convinced the store […]

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The 3 key secrets of portrait painting success

by Will Kemp oil painting
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The Art of Painting (detail),  Johannes Vermeer, 1666 You might think you need more time, or the perfect paint brand or a new brush. When the weekend comes and you’ve finally managed to find some ‘you’ time, the blank canvas stares back at you and the finished portrait, you so desperately wanted to achieve, seems a world […]

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How to paint a Portrait in Oils – Time-lapse video

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to paint a black & white portrait in Oils This is a time-lapse video of a classical approach to a black & white grisaille portrait painting. It accompanies a free series of 5 step by step, portrait tutorials. Click here to read How to paint a portrait in Oil : Part 1 A full, […]

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How to Paint a Portrait in Oil – Part 5

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to paint a portrait series. This is part 5 of a 5 part series of tutorials for beginners making the transition from drawing to oil painting. We look at how importance value and tone are in creating a realistic black and white portrait using classical oil painting techniques. Here is a quick review of what we have […]

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How to Paint a Portrait in Oil – Part 4

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to paint a portrait series. This is part 4 of a 5 part series of tutorials for beginners making the transition from drawing to oil painting. We look at how importance value and tone are in creating a realistic black and white portrait using classical oil painting techniques. Here is a quick review of what we have […]

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How to Paint a Portrait in Oil – Part 3

by Will Kemp oil painting
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“When you come back to your painting you’ll notice how the oil has become translucent overnight and won’t have the same coverage that you first thought.” How to paint a portrait series. This is part 3 of a 5 part series of tutorials for beginners making the transition from drawing to oil painting. Here is a quick review […]

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How to Paint a Portrait in Oil – Part 2

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to paint a black & white portrait in Oils a Step by Step approach In this series of 5 posts, I am going to look at the process of how to tackle painting a black & white portrait using oil paints. So when you come back to your painting the next day, it’s a good […]

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How to Paint a Portrait in Oil – Part 1

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to paint a black & white portrait in Oils Have you been practising your portrait drawing for years yet making the jump to oil portrait painting always seems to end in an underwhelming finish? Or do you walk around portrait galleries in awe with the question, ‘How do they do that?’ Maybe you’re frustrated […]

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A beginners guide to colour strings (and how to paint quicker)

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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When you first start painting, the vision is of squeezing out bright vivid paint colours, a handful of paintbrushes, maybe a beret? But often this approach is an illusion, an artist myth. To get professional results you need a professional approach. If you want freedom and expression on the canvas, a bit of premixing can […]

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The 3 Steps to Becoming a Better Painter, by Painting Less

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Ever wonder where you’re supposed to find the time to paint? If you’re trying to paint in your spare time, it can seem impossible. You’re already struggling just to find a clear space and get your paints set out and sometimes you can’t even manage that. You want to work on your colour mixing, try […]

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How to choose a basic Portrait painting palette for Oils

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Head Study – After Collins, Oil on Linen, Will Kemp “Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend” John Singer Sargent How not to paint a portrait, a personal tale Let me take you back several years to the beginning of my experiments with portraiture. It was a bright sunny morning after a […]

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The Importance of Contrast in Painting

by Will Kemp drawing
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Contrast is really important when you’re starting to learn how to paint. A good knowledge of contrast in drawing helps significantly because you will have learnt the value of light and dark. If you are coming from a non-drawing background, you will have to be more aware that to make a dramatic painting “contrast is […]

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The Trouble with Oil – Preparing a Canvas for Oil Painting

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Oil paint can be an amazing substance to work with, from creating quick sketches outside to photo realistic portraits. Because oil paints take a long time to dry, they give you the flexibility to be able to tweak, alter, soften and blend resulting in lovely muted, smokey subtle paintings. If you decide that you’d like […]

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