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PORTRAIT PAINTING - small scope.

Artists generally begin with drawings. Drawing of the image which could be regarded as sketch. These do not supersede photographs, but are generally preferred as the very act of drawing requires the artist to study and understand what he is seeing. Nonetheless, there can be problems. Some drawings will come off straight away, but many only after a great deal of effort, and on occasions nothing seems to give a likeness. For that reason, some painters, particularly the more experienced, begin immediately on the oil portrait. By moving from general appearance to telling details they avoid producing a photographically correct but facile/bland/unilluminating facsimile of the subject.

Some general hints:

1. Use the appropriate medium in preliminary work: pencils for a small and/or detailed sketch, chalks or pastel for the broader sketch.

2. Ensure the lighting helps to give strength, solidity and character to the face. It is very difficult to capture a full face likeness if the lighting and features are such that the features are not tightly organized by structure. Eyes and mouth that 'float' in a soft woman's face where you cannot put muscles, wrinkles and shadows are particularly difficult. Avoid full face if you can.

3. Never make the face full-size. Two-thirds is the normal limit and half-size is safer. Too large a paper or canvas size leaves wide spaces which are difficult to fill, and in which it is difficult to place features accurately.

4. Closeness to model is important. Many expressive details of eye folds and mouth are lost a few feet further out.

5. It's usually best to block in the broad tonal or structural masses and then follow in detail with the eyes and nose. The triangle between eyes and tip of nose is a useful reference.

6. To achieved a true resemblance of the image, you have to make use of a bold picture or imitate from a clearer source. The colour scheme must be strictly adhered to unless if otherwise you want to use a new technique or make something different out of the image.
7. Realism takes time, so you have to put in all your time to get a good result.
8. Do not work in a rush as this may result in something not close in resemblance of the image.
9. understand, observe and make a good use of the logic and principles involved in making your portrait
10. Finishing! Yes, i mean finalizing what you have done. this matters a lot in any artwork. your finishing comes at the end of your work, it shows how you package your effort and for the receiver to appreciate.


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Therefore, drawing is a visual art, it must be visible i.e one must see. The term drawing is applied to works that vary greatly in technique. It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define. During the Renaissance the term 'disegno' implied drawing both as a technique to be distinguished from colouring and also as the creative idea made visible in the preliminary sketch.

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