How to Paint Pin Up Girls

Written by carl hose
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The classic pin-up girl is more than simply a painting of a curvy woman. Pin-up girls capture the essence of a time when even the scant baring of skin was considered exotic and risque. With a little practice, you can paint your own pin-up girls in the tradition of classic pin-up artist Alberto Vargas.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Canvas
  • Paint (oil or acrylic)
  • Paint thinner
  • Brushes (flat and pointed)

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  1. 1

    Sketch your pin-up girl first. Use pencil and draw your outline lightly. Consider the poses and shape of the pin-up girl. Draw your subject with her back to the viewer, looking over her shoulder, or lying on her side, propping her chin in one hand. These are classic poses known as cheesecake. Draw your pin-up girl with a figure-eight build in mind to achieve the big bust and wide hips of the traditional pin-up girl.

  2. 2

    Paint undertones over your painting first. Use a wide, flat brush to apply light shades of the colour you're going to be using on your painting. If the swimsuit (one piece) is going to be red, paint a light shade of red on the swimsuit. For areas where you will apply skin tone colours, however, paint a white base to build upon.

  3. 3

    Layer your final colours on gradually, applying one colour on top of the other without letting the paint to dry. After three or four layers of colour, use your pointed brush to apply streaks of black or brown paint to darken the hair colour and give it some death.

  4. 4

    Paint shading in key areas to enhance the curvaceous qualities of your pin-up girl. Start with black paint and thin it down with a paint thinner, then use a pointed brush to apply shading to emphasise the cheeks of the butt or the cleavage, depending upon the position of the girl in your painting.

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