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» Oil Painting Techniques by Phil Kessling
A technique with I have recently added is the repainting of the deep shadows and light highlights after the initial painting has dried. This additional painting gives the colors added depth. Generally, I prefer not to use clear overcoats, unless I find them absolutely necessary. When necessary, I use either Polly S Flat Finish or Vallejo Matte Medium.

The most important thing to remember when painting with oils is to spread the paint thin with a brush. Placing too much oil paint on a figure usually results in visible brush strokes and uneven finished. After each painting session, the brushes are cleaned with dishwashing detergent and water.

Painting the Bust

The bust was painted with W&N Artists' Oils unless otherwise indicated.


  • Eyeballs: Polly S Dragon White + Polly S D&H Avon Blue (acrylics). Cadmium Red Deep in the corners (Photo 1). Blended (Photo 2).
  • Iris: Base: Indidgo (Photo 3). Highlight: Indigio + Mediterranean Blue (DS) + Titanium White (Photo 4). Light Highlight: Buff Titanium (DS) + Titanium White (Photo 5).
  • Pupils: Blue Black (Photo 6).
  • Upper Eyelid: Mars Brown + Rembrandt Sepia (Photo 7).
  • Lower Eyelid: Mars Orange (Photo 8).
  • Final Iris Highlights: Lightest Highlight + Iridescent White (Photo 8).

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