Oil Painting Blog

Blog about oil paintings by Robert Dawson

Lucian Freud's color

One of my favorite figurative artists is Lucian Freud. He achieves striking volume with his use of color. Today, while watching a documentary about him, called Lucian Freud: Portraits, I noted several interesting things about his use of color that contribute to that effect.

First, he uses lots of yellow ocher and other yellows for the base of skin tones. He also uses a thick white for highlights (the exact color is mentioned in an article I found online, but I forget where). I noticed pale and light pinks for areas that project into the foreground, such as the outside edge of a thigh, dull and muted greens for recessed and shadowy areas, and, finally, maroon and other deep reds for areas of focus, like the nose.