Bringing an Old Photo to Life

This post was written by gary odmark on November 28, 2011
Posted Under: Art Tips

Found myself a fun project.  I was fortunate to have a super Grandfather.  I found a photograph of him in black and white and decided to venture out and change it into a full color oil portrait.     What great memories were running through my mind.  
     I first sketched the portrait out on canvas with burnt sienna and then proceeded to block in the shadow areas.  In painting a portrait it is very important to get your measurements right.  Once I felt that everything seemed to look right I went ahead and placed a medium skin tone throughout the face and neck.     The forehead is usually a lighter tone and the nose , ears, and mouth area are nearly always painted with more red.   This is because the skin is thinner and therefore the blood is closer to the surface of the skin. I use green the complimentry of red to tone down my shadows. 
     It is quite interesting to see the change that appears when you change over a black and white photo into a full color oil portrait.  The person seems to come alive.  In painting this portrait I found simularities in myself and two brothers.  Each of us have carried on some of my grandfathers features..     I will be posting some more instruction videos soon and I also plan to include in my blogs paintings that have just been completed with some valuable tips for  artists and art admirers.      I hope you enjoy these.      Gary W. Odmark

Reader Comments

This is excellent. I have painted in the past and am just getting back into the groove of painting. Ive always found people the hardest things to paint. I’m also interested in doing landscapes like old barns and seascapes, animals, etc.

Scarlett Williamson

Written By Scarlett Williamson on November 19th, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

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