May 17


How to Paint a Portrait part four; Final touches to the underpainting

By Patrick Turner-lee

May 17, 2019



Final part of the Acrylic under painting. Started with a blank canvas found the centre then marked out some basics. By the end of this session I want to get paint on the whole of the canvas.

Start by putting paint on the canvas that is yet to have be painted. This helps inform the colour harmony for the whole piece.

Fill up the canvas with paint

Keep a handle on the paint you have been using so far and this will help with the colour harmony.

Don't worry about covering up marks that you have made. Often you will still see them and you will certainly remember them. I take photographs after each session so that I can get a nudge to think where I was.

Don't worry about covering up marks


You can start to define your image, which can help with the next stage in the painting.

As you paint more your senses become sharper and more tuned into the subject. This means that you notice various subtleties.

Now you can see how the different applications of paint affect the overall look of the painting.

It is good to decide when you are going to complete this part of the process otherwise you can keep painting in acrylic until you are happy with the work.

New paint throws harmony while wet


​By now I hope you are beginning to see some progress in the shape and character of you painting. This process can allow you the freedom to paint as you not me.

So this is the last in the preparation for me as I will continue this series of lessons in oil paint.

At this point we have already learnt so much about what we are painting.

By the end of this session you will have more of a grasp of the whole piece.

Almost ready for oil now


So we can see where we are now. The first three videos and blogs were about experimenting and beginning to find your own process. I am sharing my way of doing this not because it is the right way but because it works for me. Please stick to it and you will find that some of the things I do are because of my personality.

It is possible to keep working on your piece in Acrylic and continue to experiment. If you are frustrated start a new painting. Then you have an arts practice. At some point one of your friends will say that they love you work and then who knows you may start to sell them.

That is another story that I am happy to share as it is a journey that I have begun.

Painting is as much about finding yourself as it is creating paintings.

Part one of the oil painting a portrait to come real soon


Patrick Turner-lee

About the author

Reveal the Artist within Inspire yourself and then others Sustain a consistent creative life Connect with those around you

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