One of the common problems and questions I get about portraits is how do I get a likeness? I discuss this and offer some tips on this challenging area. Of course there are many ways to tackle a portrait, here I give some tips based on how I would develop a portrait but if something else works for you, stick with it!
You may have heard the phrase ‘loosen up’ from an art teacher, I have and I never quite understood how or what they really meant. We all have certain styles in the way we draw, some of us will naturally make bold, large strokes and others will enjoy small accurate strokes perhaps focussing on detail. Is there a need to loosen up and if so how can it be done?
Get Comfortable With Your Style
Now after many years of art classes I got the impression that you had to be ‘gutsy’ with your drawing and painting otherwise it was somehow lesser work. Of course this is not true, there is nothing wrong with a more ‘technical’ style and for those of us who like detail. If you are someone who likes small paintbrushes and detail that is ok but there is some merit in trying out a looser style which you can use when needed.
Looser, more energetic strokes tend to have more movement and can look at bit fresher. Sometimes we can overwork a piece and this is a trap that many beginners fall into because they are less confident with strokes and lines so they tend to go over areas time and time again.