Painting Portraits in Oils by Rob Wareing

  • Description
  • About the Author
  • Contents

Painting Portraits in Oils by Rob Wareing offers a complete guide to portrait painting in oil paint by an internationally renowned artist. This book draws on over 40 years experience to provide an invaluable handbook for budding portrait artists. 

Painting Portraits in Oils has its foundation in two main pieces of advice: work from life rather than from photographs, and to work in a single layer (alla prima). This allows you to create a painting that truly captures character all in one sitting. The book begins with a fascinating overview of portrait painting. Rob goes on to discuss his favourite materials, how to pose and light your sitter and how to prepare your work area before starting to paint. 

Detailed coverage of design and composition follows, including the importance of proportions and the painting process itself. Learn how to master colour mixing and finish up your painting without overworking. Step-by-step demonstrations are included, along with numerous examples of the artist's own work throughout. This offers unique insight into his process and results in a concise and expert guide to portrait painting in oils.

160 Hardback with dust jacket

216x280 mm


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Rob was born in South Africa. After finishing his education, he travelled extensively, receiving tuition and studying the techniques of traditional classical painting. He turned professional at the age of 23 and has had a very fulfilling international career, spanning more than four decades.

Rob has become highly sought-after as a tutor worldwide, both demonstrating and hosting hands-on workshops. He runs a popular YouTube channel, and has written articles for The Artist (UK), International Artist and The South African Artist magazines. Rob has demonstrated on television in the USA, Mauritius and South Africa, and is a founder member of The Artists' Gallery, KZN in South Africa.

Rob divides his time between the UK and South Africa. In addition to taking portrait commissions, he produces a limited number of paintings for sale each year, available for purchase through his represented galleries. He often returns to his beachfront studio in South Africa, where he gains inspiration for and paints most of the works seen at his exhibitions and in galleries.

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  • Foreword 6
  • Introduction 8
  • Working from life 10
  • What makes a portrait? 12
  • Materials 22
  • Composing your paintings 34
  • Preparation 36
  • Drawing and painting 56
  • Drawing skills 58
  • Painting alla prima 70
  • Values 82
  • Colour 92
  • Skin tone 106
  • The sitting 116
  • The Portrait 118
  • Going further 134
  • Other types of portrait 136
  • Settings and background 156
  • Index 160
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Painting Portraits in Oils Product Code: 9781782217961
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