Beautiful Oil Portraits

The talented artists at Guaranteed Portraits have perfected the ancient art of oil painting. They can create beautiful custom oil portraits from any of your selected photos.


Origin & Evolution of Oil Painting

Oil painting is an ancient technique that can be traced back to the earliest civilizations. This technique has continuously been redeveloped over the centuries into present day oil painting. Oil painting is heralded as one of the most beautiful and respected art forms of all time.

The Beginning

Mineral PigmentsThe origins of oil painting can be traced back to the earliest civilizations in our illustrious history. Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece were the first to create brilliant art pieces created with mixtures from the earth’s natural resources. A combination of mineral pigments such as copper, iron and manganese oxides have all been essential in allowing talented individuals to manifest their genius through ancient art expression. Although these art techniques are not necessarily considered to be oil painting or what constitutes the current art form, they lead to its conception. Their ideas led to new ones and oil painting was to become invented and reinvented with the introduction of new techniques.

The end of the Roman Empire and beginning of the Renaissance era marks the birth of oil painting in the 15th century. The mineral pigment technique was replaced with oil paint or tempura. Tempura is a fluid like mixture consisting of a binder or organic medium, water and volatile additives or vegetable essential oils. Olive oil and tempura was originally used, but the extensive drying time led to the search for a new method.

The Redevelopment of Oil Paint

Wedding Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his WifeOne notable influence came from the talented European artist, Jan van Eyck. He was very influential in the Italian Renaissance Art movement, and he had an impeccable eye to create wonderful painted images. Many people confuse him with being the “Father” or original creator of oil painting, but that is not the case. However, he was very instrumental in developing a stable varnish that would dry at a consistent rate. He created this by mixing linseed and nut oils with resins. The result was a beautiful translucent image. The intensity of color pigment also trapped light that translated into brilliance. This incredible development in oil painting altered the appearance of oil paintings.

Van Eck’s most famous oil portrait piece depicting this new art form was the wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife, which he painted in 1434. Oil portraits depicting important people were very common in this era. Perhaps the most famous oil portrait of all time is the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

In the late 1400s, oil painting was further transformed by the artist, Antonello da Messina. He introduced yet another method which involved adding a lead oxide called litharge to the oil mixture that created a new level of brilliance.

Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous artists of all time, improved oil painting even further with his boiling method used in the mid 1400s and early 1500s. This improvement discouraged the formation of dark colors and led to creations such as the world renowned Mona Lisa.

Oil Painting Evolved

Oil Painting TubeFor the past hundreds of years, many other notable artists have continued to contribute to the development of oil painting until it has reached the standard we know today. After years of trial and error and scientific findings about the chemistry and consistency of numerous oils, unsaturated fatty acids and color pigments, oil painting has reached new heights. The most popular mediums used by artists today are: linseed oil, stand oil, poppy seed oil, safflower oil, walnut oil and linquin.

Oil painting has an illustrious history that originated long ago when it was first used to adorn the ancient shields and sculptures of our predecessors. The Renaissance era nurtured the art form which resulted in some of the most beautiful art pieces ever witnessed by the human eye. Today, oil painting is an art form that is loved and appreciated by art enthusiasts worldwide.