Portraiture is notoriously known as one of the hardest subject matters to tackle as an artist. Practice is essential as many will tell you that honing your skill will help you achieve the desired effect. Do not be afraid to experiment with new materials and test yourself .Here are a few ideas on how to overcome this challenge for those who are newly budding artists or just want to ‘brush up’ on your technique.
- Find a clear image of who you want to draw or paint.
If you are using a model or copying an image make sure that they are well lit so you can clearly see their features so that they do not end up looking like a potato when you are coming to sketching the initial design. For those starting out try using a black and white image from the web or change the image via filters or Photoshop to make it easier for you to see the defining features as well as shadows.
- Drawing Process
Keep your pencil lines soft . This way you can easily correct mistakes or build up layers if you are working with inks or pencils . It is also less likely to show up when you are painting. Concentrate on getting the proportions right through mapping out their face first . Draw yourself a circle that roughly resembles their face shape then draw a cross to intersect it which will be the basic guide for adding in the facial features.
- Paint With All The Colours Of The Wind
If you’re doing black and white start with the darker colours first as it will save you using white paint if you are working on paper or canvas. This goes the same for coloured works as you can map out the shadows and mid tones of the figure. Top tip for making skin colour! Use this combination to get the initial blend – red , yellow and white which will give you a peachy colour then keep adding small amounts of brown or white to darken or lighten the face.
- Experimentation- Be Adventurous!
Try using lots of different materials from watercolours to boiled sweets or even coffee! The more you try new mediums you will be more likely to find out what you enjoy working with. Do not worry if your first attempts turn out looking like squishy monsters the main thing is you keep trying and remember that practice makes perfect!