Posts Tagged ‘faith te’

Robin – Oil Painting

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Robin - Realistic bird oil painting

by Faith Te

Oil on Hardboard
Size: 25 x 20 cm (10″ x 8″)

Here is a bigger oil painting I completed a few days ago. I painted this robin for James Parker’s painting/drawing challenge titled “For the Birds”. Please visit the Windows to the Words blog to learn more about the challenge.

I used my artistic license quite a bit here. I flipped the original reference photo so that the bird faces right. Also, I replaced his feet in the original with the ones from a WetCanvas photo by Dave Slaughter.

Robin - Bird Painting - Detail

This kind of composition — an animal or a flower with its name by its side — was an idea I’ve wanted to try for a long time. At first, I thought the text would be difficult, but using a small brush and thinned paint made it quite easy to do.

I need to do a few more touch-ups on this painting because in some parts, the color of the background near the robin does not match the rest. But apart from that, I’m really pleased with it. I hope you like the “illustrative” style. I plan to make this a series and make some with flowers as well.

Thank you for looking.


Oil Portrait Painting

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Portrait - Oil Painting

Oil Portrait

Oil on Gessoed Bristol Board
Size: 28 x 36 cm (11″ x 14″)

Like David, I also joined the Different Strokes from Different Folks Year End Portrait Swap. The names of the artists we were to paint or draw were not revealed when we were given the pictures. I still don’t know whose portrait I painted but I do hope he will like it! The challenge was a lot of fun and I would love to participate again.

More about the oil painting…
I initially wanted to use charcoal, but I’ve been using oil paints a lot lately so I decided to do an oil portrait instead. This is just the third oil portrait I have completed so far. There are still a lot of areas which need to be improved, but overall, I am quite pleased with the result.

Portrait - Detail of Shirt - Oil Painting

Oil Portrait Painting – Detail of Shirt
My favorite part in the whole painting would be the green “glow” on his shirt. I didn’t plan it beforehand but as I was adding highlights to the shirt, I felt that the bright green looked better just along the edges. So I softened it just a little and left it that way.

I also began practicing painting in layers lately as I usually paint alla prima (“finished in one session”). I think painting a portrait in layers gives the skin tones more “depth” and a more realistic and lifelike look.

In addition, I’d like to thank a good friend I recently met, Paul Brown. He has been very helpful and generous with his tips and that has given me a lot of confidence. If you haven’t already, do visit his web site and enjoy his super realistic paintings.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


UPDATE: (January 2, 2010) The Portrait Swap has ended. Well, I may never know who I painted, but I woke up today to a truly big surprise — Karin Jurick painted my portrait! I was overwhelmed and very pleased! She also painted the other artists whose teammates weren’t able to reciprocate. My hats off to Ms. Jurick for doing what she did!

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose: Stage 6 – Pencil Drawing

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 6 - Pencil Drawing

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose – Stage 6

Quite a big jump from the previous stage. Here, I’ve done most of the “underpainting” for the fabric she’s sitting on. Plus, her legs are almost finished — just a little more fine-tuning to be done in those areas.

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 6 - Detail 1 - Pencil Drawing


  • I have done some more work on her hair. The part I haven’t done yet is quite “messy” so I left that for later
  • Finished drawing the other ear (viewer’s right)
  • Viewer’s right eyebrow is now in place

I left the head area for a while and continued working on the arm down…

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 6 - Detail 2 - Pencil Drawing

Finally finished her hand so I am posting a close-up of that area as well.

The fabric underneath her fingers is showing the start of the furry texture. I practiced on how to create believable and realistic fur before I even started the portrait. I tried a few different ways and tools but decided on using a stick eraser. I hope it does the effect I am trying to achieve.


Portrait of Baby Mary Rose: Stage 5 – Pencil Drawing

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 5 - Pencil Drawing

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose – Stage 5

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 5 - Detail - Pencil Drawing

Some more update on her hair. Also, more work on the nose, mouth and eye (viewer’s right). I really like how her cute little nose and mouth are coming along ;) .



Portrait of Baby Mary Rose: Stage 4 – Pencil Drawing

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 4 - Pencil Drawing

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose – Stage 4

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 4 - Detail - Pencil Drawing

Worked some more on the initial tones on the rest of the face, arm and chest. Started drawing the hair and the other eye. Also began adding detail to the nose.

Apart from experimenting with the mostly-graphite-powder-skin-tones method, I am trying to lessen the darkness of the skin tones as well. I tend to go quite dark because I feel that I haven’t achieved the skin texture I am going for unless I’ve applied layers and layers of tone, which often leaves the portrait looking too dark. I wonder if anyone else is in the same situation…

On a side note, Art Studio now has a subscription feature on the sidebar. We’ve added the feature a couple of days ago and it has two options: receive Art Studio updates via your favorite reader or your e-mail.

If you encounter problems with the subscription service or any part of the blog, please don’t hesitate to let us know by sending us an e-mail ( or by leaving a comment. Thank you for your support :) !


Portrait of Baby Mary Rose: Stage 3 – Pencil Drawing

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 3 - Pencil Drawing

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose – Stage 3

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 3 - Detail - Pencil Drawing

Just a bit of progress in this stage. A little more was done on the eye and I started working on the ear and eyebrow. This stage also shows the initial pencil strokes for the hair.

In addition, I worked some more on the background (smoothening it out and making the tones even) and darkened what she’s sitting on. I am actually planning it to be a furry sort of fabric like that of a teddy bear’s. I am not really sure what the correct term for that kind of fabric is but I researched and, I think, it’s properly known as “plush”. Anyway, please let me know if it’s wrong ;) .


Portrait of Baby Mary Rose: Stage 2 – Pencil Drawing

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 2 - Pencil Drawing

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose – Stage 2

Here’s stage 2. Initial layers of graphite pencil have been applied to most of the drawing. I have also done quite a bit of her right eye in this stage but it isn’t finished yet. I included a close-up to show a larger view of the face.

Portrait of Baby Mary Rose - 2 - Detail - Pencil Drawing

In this drawing, I am trying out a new method for the skin tones which is quite different from what I normally use — it will be done using mostly graphite powder.

I used to do the skin tones with an “underpainting” of graphite powder and then layers of more graphite using mechanical pencils. In this portrait, I am trying to use the graphite powder as much as possible and restrict the mechanical pencils to the “finalizing stage” (filling out missed spots and adding sharp edges).

My application of graphite powder is the same as charcoal — brushing on light layers until I get the desired darkness and texture. This new method will, I hope, speed up the time I spend on my graphite pencil portraits while still retaining a detailed finish ;) . Hopefully, it will also give my drawings a softer look.

Please stay tuned for the next stage :) !

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