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Painting of Mayor Jim Watson

Portrait Paintings

Recent Oil Paintings


Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Portrait artist Lydia Pepin

Portrait of Mayor Jim Watson

Behind the Scenes of the Portrait Painting of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

The official portrait painting of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, an oil on canvas of 36″ x 48″, is now on permanent display at City Hall

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Portrait artist Lydia Pepin
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson Portrait Painting, artist Lydia Pepin

Portrait Painting Beginning Process

When working on a portrait, I think it is important, when possible, to spend time with the person being painted in order to capture their personality on canvas. I then do a photo-shoot where I take a multitude of pictures, enabling me to study their face under various lights and from all sides. Afterwards I choose the picture which best reflects them and sometimes even combine a few of them to represent them as honestly as possible, and to have a composition which puts the subject at the heart of the painting.


Painting Techniques

I work in the same combination of layers for all my paintings, to achieve a final product which suits me. I first start with a sketch in charcoal on canvas, for outline and composition, followed by china ink which dries and doesn’t mix with the oil. Once it is dried, I cover the canvas with a coat of diluted colour which will set the tone of the painting, then I start working on the grisaille in acrylic (Black and white coat which gives volume – see video below). Once the grisaille is done, I start working on the oil colors. I do coats of warm oil colours then cold oil colours, alternating to achieve a unique and interesting skin colour which has depth and richness.  A few final details, and voilà!

After the Grisaille, a coat of warm oil colour, which will be followed by cold oil colours, alternating until its final stage.

A look into the grisaille technique

A quick look into the grisaille underpainting

Recent Paintings