How to paint portrait with the glazing oil painting technique
For more tutorials, visit my Patreon at
This painting was painted with the Glazing Oil Painting Technique.
After priming the white canvas with two coats of white acrylic gesso, I applied numerous layers of oil paint.
Because glazing layers deepen the tone, I tried to keep the previous layers in lighter than intended for the finished work.
Each glaze layer has to be touch dry before the next is applied. This is to prevent the color mixing on the canvas. Each layer also has to conform to the "fat over lean" rule.
In addition, the paint used for glazing layers are transparent or semi-transparent.
The first layer, painted with diluted Raw Umber, was called imprimatura. I painted the entire painting with this monochrome color, from the background to the figure and her clothes. I used a small brush to put down paint and a bigger one to spread the paint.
As you can see, the portrait looked "finished" as a monochrome painting before I moved on to the next layer - the Dead Color layer.
I used a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Zinc White and Raw Umber for the Dead Layer. This was applied over the skin area.
Once the dead layer is dry, I moved on to adding a few more layers of color to the skin.
The clothes was painted with several layers of Cadmium Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian and white, gradually deepening the color and enriching the color.
The background was painted with a few layers of Viridian and a little bit of Ultramarine Blue.
Finally, I used the scumbling technique to add some texture to the clothes and painted the moon and the little blue phantom.
I painted this self portrait painting titled "My Dream's Beginning", to experiment with combining the Impressionist's colours with the old master's multi-layered glazing techniques.
I first sketched the painting in a brown colour and made a very thin layer of underpainting with the paint, leaving the white canvas untouched for the highlight areas. I then proceeded to a bluish "dead colour" layer.
Only after I was happy with the dead colour layer's value relationships, I moved forward with colour. Many thin and transparent colour layers were applied. This was a pretty lengthy process as I had to wait for each layer to touch-dry before adding the next, to avoid the colours mixing on the canvas.
The result was well worth it! The "optical mix of colours" created a very interesting and glowing effect on the skin.