In order to learn portrait painting properly, it is essential to develop your drawing skills. Actually that applies to all forms of realistic art. I had the good fortune to have had an excellent drawing training at a young age. However, I know that many of you do not.
I am often asked to create video tutorials that pay attention to the drawing skills. In the future, I will certainly do so. For now I give some ideas.
Standard planes and proportions.
There are countless examples of how a face can be divided into a number of equal parts. Also regarding to the many planes of the head, there are a number of standard forms. This is what Bridgman says in his Complete Guide to Drawing from Life:
´At first the study of heads should be in the abstract, that is, we should forget everything that distinguishes one head from another and think of the masses common to all heads´
For anyone who wants to learn portrait painting seriously, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. If you don’t want to buy this book you can search the Internet for “Planes of the head”. It is really important to become familiar with these standard dimensions and surfaces.”But not one face is like the other!” you might say. That is precisely why it is important to understand these basics and to get the feeling of how and where they deviate from the standard.
Ask models to sit for you.
Underpainting and finished portrait of Robert
The Tuesday afternoon sitting in my studio
It is also of great importance to study from life. Try to get family, friends and neighbors to pose. Do not try to make a piece of art. See it as study material, just as an athlete does his workout.
Look on the internet.
When it is difficult to find a model, the internet is also a fantastic solution. Search for “faces” and you get a source of examples from which you can choose.
If you think that I myself already know everything, then you are wrong.
Every week we have a model coming. And other evenings, when I do not feel like reading a book or watching TV, I often sit in front of the computer screen and pick up my book of a thousand sketches and scribbles. Never enough exercise, nor for me.
Today, May 18, I launch my newest video tutorial “How to paint a portrat in watercolour”. It took a while before I could take up my project of new video tutorials, but now time has come. And on short notice other video demonstrations will follow with more information about portrait painting & drawing. In this […]
Within soon my newest tutorial “How to paint a portrait in watercolour” will be launched. So many people asked me for it. I am glad that I can meet this demand. The video contains all information about the watercolour technique. I take a close look at the specific approach that is essential in painting a […]
In my April Newsletter I give an explanation about the mixtures of fair-skin colours of those two portraits. So if you did not sign up, please do. (and receive the 100 Portraits e-Book) For those who are already signed up also check your spam box, if you think you did not receive the letter.
To all my loyal readers. In recent years I wrote my weekly blog post about many topics, related to the world of portrait painting. My intention was to create of source of information where everyone could find something to his liking. Occasionally a personal story. 333 posts in all those years. Lately I realized that […]
Portrait painting is not easy. It takes a while before you can make a acceptable portrait with a good resemblance. You know what I mean, if the intention is to paint your mother, you really want her to look like it. Not a painting of just a woman, no, it must be that woman. Your […]
Portrait painting business: Above an image from long time ago when I just started my career as a commissioned portrait painter. For those who would love to do portrait painting on a commission basis, once again, I want to give some advice. The most important thing I must say is: Make sure you’re good enough. Portrait […]
There are countless ways how to start a portrait in oil. I have already made a video on Youtube with four different options. Three of these are based on copying a photograph in one way or another. Aside from much appreciation, I also received considerable criticism on this video. Most negatives come down to the fact […]
The Fiestas of San Antón are my favourite Chelvan festivals. With all people from the neighborhood we make big bon fires and eat and drink until late at night while music and processions come along. On Sundays we make a big paella and that is what I’m working on at the moment. Later this afternoon […]
Portrait painting from photography, what do you need to know? The portrait all the way at the bottom is painted from a live session. Based on this portrait I will show you what are the pitfalls in case of portrait painting from photography. (Below: after a live session I always make a photograph of the […]