Starting A Portrait


Joined April 2009

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

2012 charcoal, acrylic wash on canvas 48×36″

Young artists and beginners always ask me, how do you start a painting… how do you start a portrait, an abstract???? I always answer… just do it…
go for it… right, wrong thats how you learn… but here is a quick lesson,… on starting portrait work… work large if you (as large) as you can for if you can master large….then small 24×18″ or smaller are a piece of cake… I once did some freelance art work for a billboard company….designed the layouts and then do the painting on…. 10 ft x 40 ft works…doing portraits and layouts was a real eye opener… that large…so my favorite size is usally 48×36″ or large problem is most clients can’t afford large… anyway start with your drawing… get good at it… that is the key… when you can draw in your portrait with an acrylic wash… directly on to the canvas you are on your way…
I always like to make the painting look like a painting and not like a photograph… “Picasso once said if you make it look like a photograph…. don’t brother doing a painting… just take a photograph”…

Most journeyman artists can make a portrait look like a photograph…. I prefer it to look like a painting… and charge double if the client wants it to look like a photograph… Thats just me…and I’m not cheap!… lol

This layout I drew directly on canvas where I will paint portrait on… (loosely) rough in with a charcoal stick somtimes I use combination of conte and charcoal, and graphite… but only to key in colors I plan to use…
Then went over with light acrylic wash of burnt umber, I use a dark green sometimes as well… sometimes I just draw in with light wash and skip drawing in with charcoal… don’t worry about the drips as they add charm… and you can alway paint them out…and always focus on the finish work… by that I mean… look ahead as you work… kind of like playing chess… the more you can look ahead before you paint the richer and better the final results…
I also used a little yellow directly with same brush only light rinse of brush in water…as you want some of the burnt umber or other color to carry into the yellow… more on that next lesson….


Artwork Comments

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  • eoconnor
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  • TrixiJahn
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  • Matty B. Duran
  • Anthea  Slade
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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