Top Tips For Successful Portrait Painting

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images5 Top Tips For Successful Portrait Painting

Painting is a fun thing to do. Some would engage in painting in order to express themselves and release the stress that is bottled up inside. Learning how to paint is actually as easy as counting numbers. I know some of you might disagree because you might have not been satisfied by the piece you made, however, you still painted.

There is no such thing as beautiful and ugly in painting. Everyone accepts the works of others. They appreciate them as they are made with great efforts. But, frankly speaking, portrait painting is quite difficult because perfection of the person’s visage is somehow concerned. Then, you might want to learn some tips in regards with portrait paintings. Use these tips with any painting medium such as oil, acrylic or watercolour paint.

First is a good choice of subject and materials such as canvas or paper. Clearness and the visibility of the photo you want to paint have to be good so that it will be easy to copy every detail of the photo. There are some ways and methods in order to easily draw the subject on the canvas even though you do not have an experience in sketching and drawing. Some of these methods include the grid method which uses grid of equal squares in drafting the sketch, and the tracing method which uses large photo (at least 8×10 of size) as the subject. Tracing method will be able to replicate an exact copy of the subject.

Second is the mixing and application of colors. There is actually a need of several layers of color in order to achieve a realistic portrait. For acrylic or watercolour portrait, use a watery wash or thinned down version of the skin color and block in the entire skin area including the entire head where the hair will be. Make sure not to cover the sketch lines if you are still unsure if you still need them or not. In watercolours, it is quite difficult to lighten areas that are too dark so do not commit mistakes while applying colors on your canvas.

Mimicking the photo is good but if you wanted to enhance it, then it’s great! If you know how to apply various shades of color, then make you painting as great as it can be. Make the colors become exaggerated in a best way. For oil portrait, pre-mixing the skin tone colors is necessary. An average color, highlight and shadow colors are the three main colors in premixing. But, you can also use colors that are in between these three as long as you know that the result will stay the same. When you are done mixing all the colors, apply it to the portrait slowly but surely. After that apply and blend some shades. Be sure to wipe the brush in between one color and the other.

Third is finalization of the portrait. The painting and the original subject or the photo has to be exactly or closely proportional. Ruler or a proportional divider is used in measuring the work and if there is an error, adjustments need to be undertaken. Final highlights or shadows are necessary in finalizing your painting.

You need not to exhaust yourself in portrait painting. You can take a break if ideas are not functional and if you are getting frustrated. Taking a break will help you be refreshed and motivated on working positively. Don’t be afraid to try new things because it may become boring if you won’t. Life is all about learning and having fun and in painting, these two are existent.

At we not only create oil paintings from photos, but we can combine photos into one beautiful work of art as well. We can create a wonderful painting from different photographs so your entire family can be included. Contact us if you want any help converting your photo to painting today.


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