Thursday, 26 April 2012

Portraits on Saturday 1

Last Saturday, Pim's painting group worked on portraits, and as promised, here is the 'theory bit', things to remember if you draw or paint a portrait!
I will post it in three parts because otherwise it is going to be so much text!

First of all, before you get started, stand still and think of a couple of things:
What is the objective of this portrait ?
Do you want to express feelings and emotions for your model or do you go for the likeness
In the first case the technical side is less important, but if you aim for likeness, you need proportions.
Determine your composition. Simple things, like your position relative to the model: do you look up to your model, or look down on him or her? Is he or she larger than life or smaller. Do you paint the head only or the whole body, sitting or standing posistion...
Where does the light come from
and how do you see the face: frontal, 3/4 view or en profil?
It is always good to know the rules of thumb of the proportions of a face! Try to remember the following: When you look at your model with your eyes on the same height as theirs...

The basic shape of the face is an egg shape
The eyes (pupils) are in the middle of the head
The distance between eyes is one eyeball
The bottom of the nose is the middle of the face
The width of the nostrils corresponds with the insides of the eyes
The width of the mouth corresponds with the middle of the eyelids
The ears (bigger than you think) start on the level of the eyes and end at the corner of the mouth

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