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Leonardo da Vinci Biography for Kids: Oil Portraits

March 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Art History, Artists Biographies

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In our Leonardo da Vinci Biography for Kids: Oil Portraits, we will learn how Leonardo da Vinci changed forever the art of painting portraits. Before him, portraits were usually in profile, and very rigid. Leonardo sat his subjects in a relaxed posed, and used oil paints, instead of tempera. This new technique allowed him to paint slowly and to get soft and perfect textures.

Leonardo da Vinci oil portraits

Just a few portraits from Leonardo da Vinci survived to our time. Before Leonardo painted each one of his portraits, he sketched a lot. He clarified every detail, the light, the posture, the clothes and the background.

Leonardo had astounding skills to draw and paint. He was able to replicate the softness of a face and the intricacy of curly hair. He painted the texture of clothes and fabrics with a marvelous realism. He took the risk of innovate using new techniques like perspective, and oil paints to create the illusion of depth and the power of realism.

He painted his portraits with oils; it was a relatively new technique, where the pigments were mixed with oil, instead of egg and water. Oil paint had many advantages, there were more color pigments that can be mixed with oil, and he had more time to work, because they dry slowly. They can be used in layers and get transparencies. They can be mixed from translucent to dense impastos.

This article is part of my series about Leonardo da Vinci where you will find information about his life, facts and anecdotes of his science and artistic activities and his inventions.

These fully illustrated series are especially design for kids, to give them a complete understanding about his work. Please check our archive in the link below to have access to all the articles related to Leonardo da Vinci.

 Welcome to leonardo da Vinci wonderful life, please remember to leave your comments and questions below.

Just a few portraits from Leonardo da Vinci survived to our time.

Before Leonardo painted each one of his portraits, he sketched a lot.

He clarified every detail, the light, the posture, the clothes and the background

Leonardo had astounding skills to draw and paint. He was able to replicate the softness of a face and the intricacy of curly hair.

He painted the texture of clothes and fabrics with a marvelous realism.

He took all the time to detail his paintings. He even spent several years working in just one portrait.

He was able to create the illusion of depth and the power of realism.

He painted his portraits with oils; it was a relatively new technique, where the pigments were mixed with oil, instead of egg and water.

Oil paint had many advantages, there were more color pigments that can be mixed with oil, and he had more time to work, because they dry slowly.

They can be used in layers and get transparencies. They can be mixed from translucent to dense impastos.

His first known portrait was done in 1470 in Florence. He painted Ginevra de’ Benci

Then he painted Cecilia Gallerani, in Milan.

Portrait of an Unknown, La Belle Ferroniere.

His last known portrait was the famous Mona Lisa

Comments

One Response to “Leonardo da Vinci Biography for Kids: Oil Portraits”
  1. nice website

    keep up the good work

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