Forever in Paradise Custom Oil Portrait of Two Young People at a Tropical Ocean Beach

Summer is drawing to a close here, but in tropical places, the beach is almost always warm and inviting.

This custom portrait is of a couple enjoying a dip in the waters of a tropical island. Read more to view my 10 steps to paint this piece:

STEP 1: In the original photo, the man is very close to the camera and the woman looks too far back in comparison. He is bigger than she is, but not that much!

So I correct this distortion in the drawing before I paint. You can see the correction a few steps down.

STEP 2: I paint the couple using wet washes of alizarin crimson mixed with French ultramarine blue. You can click any image to see it larger:

This first wash is focused on values (lights and darks) to round the forms and gives me a base to work from when adding color. It's much easier to paint portraits this way!

STEP 3: When this is dry, I paint skin color following the forms of the face outlined in the initial wash:

STEP 4: I paint his nose, mouth and eyebrows and continue the skin tones to his shoulders and chest:

STEP 5: Next I paint his curly brown hair. Then I'll complete his eyes:

STEP 6: I paint the woman in the same manner after adding some initial color to the water and sky. The background will help me match the reflected light on their skin and hair:

Look closely and you will see reflected turquoise color on his chin and the right edge of her face, neck and shoulder:

STEP 7: Her blond hair is next. I begin with dark brown over which I'll paint blond highlights:

Her long hair on the right side is kept darker since it is in shadow and is wet:

STEP 9: I add details such as her sparkling necklace:

STEP 10: Last, I paint the foreground water. Her arm and swimsuit are visible through the clear water, but the water is not still, so they are painted choppy. I add bubbles and splashes to further suggest the water's motion.

I also touch up any areas that need more detail until I'm satisfied. Though the painting seems almost complete, the final touch ups always take longest!

Here is the completed 14x18 oil portrait. I allow my clients the option to name their custom paintings. This client named the piece "Forever in Paradise" which is perfect!

Completed oil portrait of two young people at a tropical beach
'Forever in Paradise' custom 14x18" oil portrait painting

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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