Monthly Archives: February 2015

Oil Painting Demo


In my previous two posts I shared my process of creating what I call a Custom Illusion Frame. In part 3  I will now show an oil painting demo of the painting which goes with the frame.

The first step begins with the drawing. Using thinned ultramarine blue paint I sketched the composition. Remember you can click on any image to enlarge it.

oil painting demo step 1

Once the composition was sketched I started with the center of interest. The first thing I painted was the tree trunk that was catching the evening sunlight. It was just about the most intense area as well as contrast so that in part influenced my decision to start there. After that I painted in the shadowed areas on either side of the tree trunk and then onto the tree foliage keeping in mind that the light is streaming in from the right. Since this is a late evening scene the paint mixtures for the tree foliage in the light are based on orange with lower intensities. If you’re not familiar with mixing color you can read about this on my website page of Learn How to Oil Paint. I cover some of the basics including color analysis.

oil painting demo step 2

Next I continue painting out from the center of interest placing my various color shapes side by side.

oil painting demo step 3

Working to the left I block in the darker tree followed by the orange hued trees behind it and the bluish negative shapes where you see the distant hill showing through the tree.

oil painting demo step 4

Next using various shades of yellow green I block in the sunlight areas of the grass and then blending that into cooler greens caused by a cast shadow from another tree in the foreground but out of view.

oil painting demo step 5

Then using a slightly darker value of the same bluish green grass I add some silhouette shapes of some prickly pear cactus. At this point I stopped.

oil painting demo step 6

Sorry to say in this next step I got so caught up in what I was doing I forgot to take some extra photos. But continuing from the previous step I then painted in the sky. I started at the horizon because I wanted to compare my color next to the distant hills plus I added another hill to give even more distance. I painted in the clouds using various purple shades for the shadows and a warm creamy white with touches of pink for the portion receiving sunlight. Finally came the blue portion of the sky painting up to the edges of the clouds. I then could use a soft brush to work the edges and blend some of the colors and worked some of the edges of the tress up against the sky.

Then I proceeded to painting in the bluebonnets. The base color was ultramarine blue and the tops were painted a lighter reddish purple due to the influence of the late evening sun. I then added a few of the white caps to some of the flowers. And to wrap it up I added some details to give the cactus more form.

oil painting demo step 7

And here’s the painting after I removed the painters tape and shrink wrap protecting my Custom Illusion Frame.

oil painting demo finished

Wonderful Evening 11×16 image size with overall dimensions of 18×24



Making a Custom Illusion Frame

Part Two:

Continuing with the making of my custom illusion frame, I next painted a fleur di lis design in the four corners using a stencil. I used a lighter gold paint as well as a thin darker outline around the design for a little more contrast. If you missed part one you can read it here.

Custom Illusion frame step 6

Custom Illusion frame step 6

After the fleur di lis design was dry I covered this inner panel area with Folk Art brand acrylic antiquing medium by Plaid Enterprises using a soft cloth to give it a soft aged look. Once dry I masked off another one half inch space from the edge.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 7

Custom Illusion Frame Step 7

I apply acrylic gesso to the masked off section. Once dry I give it a light sanding, and followed with painting it solid black.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 8

Custom Illusion Frame Step 8

After taking off the masking I see that there has been a slight run of the acrylic paint. No problem, I just use some gesso and a small brush to clean up the edges in a few spots.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

Next you can see the results of my efforts so far with my custom illusion frame. Remember to click on the photo for a larger view. The larger view for the photo below will show the frame with a side view.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9 detail

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

After this I mask off an additional one fourth of an inch extending from the black border which will give a white border around the finished painting. I also masked off the entire frame to protect it while I paint the landscape I have planed for it. I know it doesn’t look too pretty, but it works.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 10

Custom Illusion Frame Step 10

And finally here is the completed result with my impressionist “Byron” painting. So the frame and painting are all part of the art work. In part three of my next post I will share several photos of the painting as I worked on it.

Bluebonnet oil painting by Byron with a custom illusion frame

Completed Custom Illusion Frame with original painting by Byron