(Last Updated On: February 13, 2019)

In this Portrait Studio Organisation – Oils & Canvas I will be featuring my Oil Paints & Canvas organisation with an Oil Paint demonstration from a movie commission. Over the past 16 years I have worked as an online commission artist. In that time I have created many commissions both in Australia and Overseas. Most of my commission requests are for Oil Paintings but I also get requests for commissions in charcoal drawing, pencil drawing – graphite and colour, pastel drawing paintings. Visit to view some of my artwork in

Summary of Portrait Artists Studio – Oil Paints & Canvas in Portrait Commission

Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas

  • Oils & Canvas Commission Example in Steps.
  • Set up of oil paint workstation,organisation storage ideas in studio.
  • Canvas and  Oil Brushes I use.
  • Oil Paints brands I use
  • Painting Commission finishes I apply
  • Packaging and Postage
  • Commission Process

Oils on Canvas Commission Steps – Portrait Artist Cynthia Hargraves

Step 1 The Photo Reference. This needs to be of high quality and high resolution. 

Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas
The Photo

As the photo is the only contact I have with the subject this photo needs to fully express the character of the subject. In the past I have had photos sent to me that the client knew were the subject but was unhappy when it did not capture the true character. The artist can only go by what the client sends in the form of photos. In this commission the request was for the portrait to portray a fresh innocence in the subject. It was decided an impressionistic style would be preferred.

Step 2 The undercoat was applied and the Client wanted the plant in those Colours

Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas
The Undercoat

Once the undercoat is completed a photo email update is sent in order to get feed back to find out whether colour adjustments needed to be made.

Step 3 More coats of paint and close up of face


Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas
Close Up

The expression of the portrait is everything. A lot of work goes into this once the measurements and corrections have been made. It takes many layers of glazing the surface of the face to get it to the final stage.

Step 4 The Completed Painting

Oil on canvas. by Cynthia Hargraves
Oil On Canvas Completed

The Client was happy with the painting. Completed painting reached the standard she was wanting in the fresh innocence of the subject.

Portrait Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas

Studio Organisation of Oils & CanvasStudio Organisation of Oils & Canvas

Photos of my Oil painting Art Supplies.
♦   Winsor & Newton Alkyd Oil Paint is often used as clients are usually in a hurry to get their artwork finished.  I prefer this brand as it is intense in colours but I will use other oils to suit. I also use Liquol by Art Spectrum. I buy my oil paints in bulk but choose to select the colours I have already started using storing there in  Greens, blues, reds, yellows.
♦   Disposable palette is used for smaller commissions while large boards are used to mix paint to large canvas paintings.
♦   Disposable Viva paper towels used with odourless turps.
♦   “Color Mixing Recipes” reference book is referred to when required.

Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas

Canvas & Oil Brushes organisation used in Portrait Artists Studio

To create my commissioned portraits I use Fredrix Rolls of canvas and cut them to suit the  required size of the commission.  They come in different grades. Children’s Portraits are best suited to fine grade.

Creating the portraits on unstretched canvas makes it easiest for shipping. I always allow plenty of extra canvas for the framer to stretch around the rack later.
Brushes used for Oil Paints. I have a variety of brushes some I no longer use and some I don’t throw out in case they will ever come in handy. My favourite brand  I use for my commissioned oil painting portraits are the

                            Silver Renaissance 7110 SABLE CATS TONGUE from Germany (purchased from Jerrysartarama)

Commissioned Painting Finishes Application

The only finish I put on my completed painting when it is dry is the Art Spectrum Gloss Varnish which used to be called Paraloid.  I usually place 2 coats of this oily protective varnish on the painting. Once it is dry I then Post the painting off.

Packaging and Postage

I send my painting through Australia Post by registered mail. Do not be tricked into using Express Post. Australia Post is very happy for you to pay the extra for this service but unless you live in the metropolitan area you will not get your painting any quicker than standard mail. I use large Postal Tubes to send my work. A sheet of Glassine is also used to protect surface.



Portrait Artist Painter - Summary Article
Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas
Article Name
Studio Organisation of Oils & Canvas
Portrait Artists Studio - Oil Paints Art Materials Set up of oil paint workstation,organisation storage ideas in studio. Canvas and Brushes used.
Cynthia Hargraves
Portrait Artist: Cynthia Hargraves
Portrait Artist Painter -Cynthia Hargraves
Publisher Logo

Write A Comment

Pin It