5 Best Portrait Painting Styles And Techniques


Portrait Painting Styles

Portraits have always caught the mass’s attention, irrespective of whether one is an art lover or not. And, the reason is quite evident as well! The face remains the most striking and attractive feature, be it human beings, animals, or birds. Over centuries portrait painting styles have evolved, and numerous new modes have come into play. However, the old techniques never fade out either. Today we will check out a few portrait painting techniques and methods that will allow you to create amazing paintings, just like the masters. 

Portrait Painting Styles And Techniques For Every Artist

Before we begin, you need to understand that portrait does not just refer to human pictures. The genre includes paintings of animals and birds as well. While some styles and techniques are meant explicitly for human portraits, others hold in all cases. So, how do you create stunning sketches? Let’s find out. 

Scaling 

Maintaining the scale is essential, no matter what type of portrait you are making. The scale is key to creating a beautiful artwork that will look just the way you want it. Whenever you are creating any face, you need to start by creating the basic structure. This means you need to draw the primary lines that will define the placement of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and define the head’s structure. It is valid for all types of portraits. If you are trying to sketch someone’s face, here’s a great tip – create a graph on the picture you are using as reference, and then make another graph on your drawing sheet. Follow the graph’s points drawn on the reference picture and draw identical lines using your paper’s graph. It’s a basic yet effective way to create accurate portraits. This will also immensely help beginners. 

Watercolor Portrait Painting Styles
Watercolor Portrait Painting Styles

Using A Mix Of Strong And Muffled Tones

When you are creating a portrait using colors, you have to choose the tones carefully. This holds for any medium. Fine things like hair can be created using muffled tones. This will give the appearance of volume. The other parts of the face can be created using bold tones in broad or narrow strokes. The strokes become clearer while using a knife instead of a brush. There are no fixed sharp lines. The strokes are placed for defining the area broadly. Moreover, several shades of skin tone are used to create lights and shadow effects. 

Graphite Or Charcoal Smudging Technique

Many artists love creating portraits in monotones. The best medium, in that case, happens to be graphite or charcoal. A great way to create incredibly realistic portraits is through the use of smudging. This creates gradients and allows the formation of realistic shadows. Once an artist is well acquainted with the technique, he/she will be able to create pictures that look as real as monotone photographs. 

Using Contrast In Tones 

Whenever you are trying to create a painting in someone’s likeliness, it is essential to stick to the proportion perfectly. You will find it particularly challenging while using colors. A smart way is to break down the reference picture into different tones. You can use any image editing software to enhance the contrast and reveal the changing tones. This will let you achieve a great end result through the use of contrasting shades. 

Geometric Portrait Painting Styles

Geometric Portrait Painting Styles
Geometric Portrait Painting Styles

This style is relatively new, but one of my personal favorites. Portraits created using polygons have a unique style and feel to it. Though created manually, it has a feel of digital art. The sharp geometric lines allow the creation of stark differences in shades, making it look like a face cut out from a stone. But, to make this, you will need good knowledge about perspective, perception, and defining lines. 

Portraits painting styles are many and ever-changing. You can define your style as well. However, ratio and scale remain the key! It looks great and sounds easy, but the process needs practice and perfection. So, learn to fail and keep practicing. 

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