If you’ve been searching for free lessons on how to paint a portrait, Artists Network has you covered! Discover portrait painting techniques, explained in specific, sequential steps you can remember and repeat. From the positioning of the figure to the details of the background, this easy-to-follow process on how to paint a portrait will give you the discipline and focus that the art of portraiture demands. From the empty canvas to your completed masterpiece, this downloadable guide of watercolor portrait and oil portrait instruction is perfect for the aspiring portrait artist, whether beginner or experienced.
What’s inside this free art lesson on how to paint a portrait?
- Sanden begins by establishing the size and placement of the figure’s head on a stretched canvas, and then he draws the elements of the model’s face.
- Once he is confident about his drawing, he masses in the warm shadows in the hair, along the side of the face, and in the neck area, gradually giving life to his oil portrait.
- He then paints the shadows in the lower third of the face.
- Sanden lightens the value of the flesh color and paints the middle third of the face; then he uses an even lighter color to block in the forehead.
- Before refining the painting of the face, the portrait painter blocks in the background and blouse to have references with which to judge the relative value and color temperature of the flesh tones.
Watercolor portrait artist Janet Rogers makes the process of painting watercolor seem almost effortless in that she captures the likeness and personality of her subjects without laboring over all the details. She incorporates gestured strokes of transparent color, natural blends of warm and cool pigments and just enough detail to capture a person’s individual appearance. Rogers has developed advanced watercolor techniques, yet still understands what the rest of us are trying to learn and how much encouragement we need.
Although Rogers’ techniques are not so easy to master, her demonstrations make it clear she can teach almost anyone to improve their skills in watercolor portrait painting. She emphasizes the need to practice, to start over when things fail, and to develop strong drawing skills. She connects with students by confessing that she shares the same need to constantly remind herself about the important steps that must be taken when painting portraits.
Fellow artist John Howard Sanden as he breaks the process of oil portrait painting into detailed stages of development. Learn where to begin and how to prepare for achieving a masterpiece. Learn to capture the likeness of a person’s facial structure and features with hard edges that bring attention to the most important areas of the painting. What better way to learn than from following the steps of one of the most experienced portrait artists? Download your copy of these painting portrait techniques today and learn how to create painted portraits that are sure to get attention.
Sanden’s career as a portrait artist has spanned three decades. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost teachers of professional oil painting methods, and he has toured the nation teaching his ideas and painting oil techniques to thousands of artists. He has been commissioned to paint more than 500 public officials, business leaders, and private individuals, and he is represented by several major brokers. In 1994, ASPA presented Sanden with their first John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement.