Step by step oil painting demonstration
Painting people and market cityscape in oils.
A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a demonstration of a inner city oil painting with people and buildings.

Please do not copy or reproduce (repost, put in blog etc) this demonstration for 'any' reason.
Copyright: Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
Covent Garden, London - Copyright - Alistair Butt plus other companies - reproduced here with written consent
Stage One:
For this oil painting, I wanted to try or experiment with a different painting technique to my usual mix.

Change number one:

Instead of the flat wash of Raw sienna or Ultramarine Blue, I applied a loose background wash to the board, following the basic forms and using a variety of colours. It was very quickly applied with some turpentine mixed into the oil paint.

Stage Two:
No change from normal here. This stage was the drawing up the main shapes/markers points with a thin mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.

Some lifting out (returning to an almost white board), using a cloth dipped in turps.
Stage Three:
Change number two:

Rather than apply the usual loose under painting, the method here was to do a sort of 'mid' finish, somewhere between the loose under painting and the detailed finish. The picture below shows this stage at about mid way through, with the background buildings. All the background buildings/trees and figures were painted wet against wet or wet into wet but in a controlled manor working from dark to light. Both these areas will have some finer details (stone detailing, lettering for signs etc) applied later.
Stage Four:
Carrying on with this stage, having worked on the right hand side figures.
Stage Five:
Ths picture shows the completed painting from stages three onwards.

The remaining bits were a little more involved due to the different shapes/colours on each of the market stalls. Again painting the darker areas/elements first, followed by the mid tones and finally the light areas/elements. The main shapes of the shadows and highlights on the stone floor were also painted.
Stage Six:
The background buildings had just dried enough (touch dry) for some dry brushing to create the slight haze.

Starting with the background, the final details were then added... e.g. the stone work on the church pillars, adding more detail in the trees. Then move down and right to the smaller background buildings, before moving to the buildings etc on the right hand side above the figures, here again adding stone work, other small highlights, plus some shop sign lettering and details like the lamp hanging from the wall.

Next the figures, with only minor additions made, highlights to edges and small details like labels and hair colour adjustments.

Moving on to the pavement the lines of the stones were placed first, followed by some mid and light tones to help create the form of each stone. The edges of the lines were softened slightly so they didn't stand out to much.
Stage Seven:
The painting now needs a few days to dry before a glaze is applied.

This glaze will be like a 'shadow' wash, and will be painted over the area of the market stalls (avoiding the highlights), along with some shadows and the buildings on the right. This wash will darken the foreground, adding impact to the painting, but will also visually push the lighter background backwards.

The 'shadow' glaze has been applied to the areas mentioned above but also to some areas of the shadows coming from the figures. The difference can be seen when the pictures from previous stage and this one are compared.

Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
Further Oil painting step-by-step demonstrations
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration