16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

How I paint a Classic Portrait : Brandon’s traditional portrait

16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

Classically posed and executed portraits are perfect gifts for parents and grandparents, especially if those with more traditionally styled homes.  

I usually paint in a fun, brightly colored, non-traditional style but sometimes a customer needs a completely custom, classically rendered, original painting. Brandon ordered a large scale traditional portrait to give to his grandparents for Christmas. The process was quick and easy: Brandon took a quick picture of himself with his camera phone and emailed it to me.  After we talked about background color, size, and style,  I started working. He was a part of the process each step of the way, I checked in with him to make sure he liked the sketch, underpainting and final product.

What really sets this painting apart from my usual work is the color scheme and size. It’s huge! 16″ x 20″!

I used a classic palette of Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ivory Black, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Titan Buff and Yellow Ochre.  This painting started off with a grisalle which is a gray underpainting, then I painted the colors in multiple layers over top. I use Golden fluid acrylics, they are the best, but if you use cheap acrylics hand mix your skin tones! If you squeeze a generic flesh tone out from the bottle you end up with orange plastic skin – and that only looks good on Barbie dolls.

Traditionally or nontraditional? You can choose which style you like in my etsy shop: KatCanPaint! I sell custom, affordable portraits from your photographs just like this one.

<3 Kat

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