Are You a Portrait Artist?

Sophia's World by Suzi Nassif

Portrait art is a kind of painting in which the image of a sitter is depicted by the artist. Back in the days, portrait paintings were often created by highly regarded artists who were respected in the society. Often, they would create paintings of the influential in the society such as kings, queens, high ranking government officials, jurists, etc. Some of portrait artists would also simply create portraits of people they held in high esteem and therefore commemorate them in their works of art.

Contemporary portrait art seems to have changed from the ancient one. Today any portrait artist could create a portrait of anyone they deem fit. It all depends on what strikes the fancy of the artist. Suzi Nassif paintings for instance include images of people she may have met or some that existed on Earth way before she was even born. In the current times we are witnessing portraiture moving away from what used to be taken as a status symbol.

The process that is involved in acrylic portrait painting on canvas

Painting the eyes

Because the eyes are usually the most important element of a portrait they should be painted first. The eyes are the focal point of the face and the very feature that brings life to an image. For this, the portrait artist performing acrylic painting on canvas needs to put much focus on every detail on the eyes. The key element in achieving any likeness of the portrait and the real figure is creating an overall balance between the eyes. As a portrait artist, you should build up the painting of both eyes at the same time to help capture the balance between them. You may not easily achieve this if on the outset of things you work on one eye and then try to follow up with the other.

Painting the skin

When painting the skin you can use a variety of brushstrokes through the stippling technique. The stippling technique here involves paint applied in dots. This technique is good because it gives you more control over the way color is distributed when you are applying paint over a large area including the cheeks.

The colors, textures and tones of the skin are all built up in thin layered glazes of paint that is applied over the flesh toned under paint.

Applying dark tones to the skin

Over the flesh colored painting, you will apply dark tones with a dark sienna glaze. You should have with you a variety of small brushstrokes that will come in handy for you for stifling and smudging. Remember the face needs to show softly blended tones of the face.

Applying light tones to the skin

The best way to apply light tones on the skin in a portrait is to use a glaze of titanium white to help enhance the existing form. Also take note of how you complete the form of the lips with the skin tones before you add any color to make the lips red.

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