How to paint realistic portraits with oil paint


In this video you’ll see my 5-step process painting a female portrait. I find the female form to be the most beautiful and compelling to paint. Although portrait painting is super challenging for me (I used to paint the stick figures). In my opinion, portrait painting has the potential for high emotional impact in comparison to still life painting.

This surreal artwork is the manifestation of self-acceptance. The theme of self-nurturing is symbolized by a woman’s gentle hand holding the white orchids. Like taking care of flowers, nurturing becomes vital for inner growth.

I use high-quality materials to complete every artwork. I paint several pieces a year because every artwork becomes a long process of planning and painting. What you see in a 20-min. video is a compression of weeks of work.


3 thoughts on “How to paint realistic portraits with oil paint

  1. Veronica, Lovely work and I so enjoy the fact you work in both colored pencil and oil. I am currently a colored pencil artist and enjoy the flexibility of CP (not drying to fast or too slow) but I’m also now trying to develop my oil skills having painted in watercolor and acrylic in the past. I’m using water mixable oils due to a sensitivity I have to solvents. But I’m finding I’m having a difficulty trying to adjust to the drying process of oils and finding a way to be productive in it short of having 5 pieces going at once. Due you have any hints for working in oil, scheduling and waiting for things to tack up enough. (The cobra water mixable ones do take longer to tack up, I’m using Zest it for a medium)

    My Cps are always there ready to be picked up and so flexible I’m having a hard time finding a way to work productively in oils. Any hints?

    1. Hi Gloria,
      So sorry I just found your comment! I don’t speed up the drying time of oil paint because it’s really bad from the archival point of view. If you use linseed oil, it usually takes just 2-3 days for a layer to dry. I usually work on several paintings at once because of this. While I paint one thing, the second one dries up. thanks for reaching out!

    2. Hi Gloria!
      Thanks for the complements. I use regular oil paint and I’ve painted with water-soluble oils a long time ago, so I almost don’t remember the experience. What I remember that they didn’t feel that much different from the regular oils. I usually work on several pieces at once so to speak, because they all dry at different speed, and I stay productive this way. There is no way around it but doing it like this or changing your medium to a fast-drying one. Many oil painters use liquin original that dries up the paint in a day. However, I don’t think it’s wise if you paint for collectors and want your work to last, because fast-drying mediums “age” the paint. I don’t know what fast-drying medium would be for water-mixable oils. You probably need to go online or to the art supply store to ask or look around for products. Hope it helps. Veronica

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