Painting Lessons For Portrait Painting

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Painting lessons are necessary for beginning artists if they want to achieve great results with acrylic, watercolor or oil portraits. No matter which medium they choose, beginning painting lessons should be used to achieve results that make the artist happy with their work. Here are a few items that should be included in the lessons. 

  • Beginners should choose a photo versus using a live model to paint. There are a couple of reasons for this. When you use a photo the image can be manipulated. What I mean is that the image can be enlarged, lightened, or darkened. The photo is more easily replicated than a live model. In addition, when painting from a digital image, there is no pressure to finish the portrait in a time frame either. The artist is free to take his or her time and the model is not even present.

  • Getting an accurate sketch on the canvas. Now that a photo has been chosen, the lessons that are being used need to direct the artist how to get an accurate sketch of the photo onto the canvas. There are actually several ways to achieve this. I always recommend getting an accurate pencil sketch on the canvas before applying any paint at all. Many artist use the grid method to do this. Many art lessons widely teach the grid method. I personally prefer to use and teach a charcoal tracing method. This method produces the most accurate proportions and features.

  • Apply color. So now that you have an accurate pencil sketch on the canvas, you can start applying color. Be sure the lesson you are following describes skin tone colors and how to achieve varying tones. Remember that portraits include hair and hair colors as well.

  • Painting lessons for portrait painting includes many factors. In addition to choosing the photo, getting an accurate sketch and applying color, there are several other things that go into painting a portrait. For example how to add the color, or where to apply shading and highlights. You can’t forget about the background of the painting either.

Start simple as you begin your portraits. I think you will see that as you practice, your portraits will come to life. 


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