Modigliani style with oil pastels

Modigliani’s portraits are so characteristic that it is easy to copy them! Here is a simple technique with pencil, oil pastels and baby oil to imitate the unmistakable style of this artist. 

We can start to copy the contours of the figure 
with a pencil, simplifying the lines and shapes. 

Modigliani’s Works of art
Then we color the entire surface with a single oil pastel colour, 
preferably pale, that will be the bottom of our drawing.
Thereafter we color the shapes with just few colors, overlaying the 
color on the colored background. We can also mix the colors!


Then we apply the baby oil on the surface with a soft 
paintbrush, to smooth the colors and mix them together. 
Eventually we redraw the lines with a pencil to make the lines sharper.


Here are our Modigliani!



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  1. love them!

  2. Beautiful! I love how you layered the pastels and added in pencil lines at the end.

  3. Thank you for your comment! nice to meet you!

  4. thaks Rina! Sei italiana? Sei un’insegnante? Piacere di conoscerti!!!Nice to meet you, thank for your comment, the technique is very easy!!!

  5. wow i'd like to try this thanks 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing! Show me your work when will be ready!! I’m very happy to share it!

  7. Fantastici, poi i lavori dei ragazzi coi pastelli ad olio vengono sempre bellissimi, mi sa proprio che alle seconde li faccio fare, grazie dell'idea!

  8. Ciao Martina!!! Sì, sono anche facili da fare perchè i colori si possono “ pasticciare”, poi con il baby oil si possono mettere a posto eventuali difetti e ammorbidire il segno e alla fine con la matita si dà il tocco finale con un segno incisivo che riprende quello di modigliani. Se li realizzi con le seconde fammeli vedere!! Ciao prof, e sempre buon lavoro! Salutami tutti!

  9. You are such a creative, talented teacher. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas. I really enjoy all your projects….. Anne

  10. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr… well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!Feel free to visit my blog

  11. I’m sorry for that! Anyways, nice to meet you and your blog! Thank you for your comment!

  12. Miriam, sei proprio brava! Complimenti!

  13. Beautiful. I want to try this. What kind and size of paper did you use??

  14. Kelli LeBeouf says

    I did this with my students yesterday and they turned out great… but my question is, does the baby oil ever dry!?!

    • Hi Kelly! I’m curious to see your students’ work! Of course it will dry, but the time depend on how much oil they used on the drawing. Wait some days and if the drawing will be too oiled, you could try drying it with a tissue, but I think in some days it will dry 🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing Denette! Your pumpkins are amazing! 🙂


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