It is many folks belief that the skills of an artist are what you are either born with or not. There are of course many people for which that statement is true and are born with a god given talent that naturally comes to the surface without effort. I am glad to say that today anyone can become an expert artist if they are taught the right method. It is possible, that even people with no apparent skills at all can be shown how to develop quite quickly into a good portrait artist.
Initially all you need is a passion and a desire to want to be able to do it and then an easy step-by-step structure to follow. So you do not have to be born knowing how to draw a portrait but is it most definitely something that you can easily learn to do. So regardless of your current level of drawing skill you can become an expert portrait artist.
The next component vital to the overall success is a commitment to practising the new learning until the results are good. Too often people give up quickly because the initial efforts while learning are naturally quite poor. Those that do give up quickly are often those folk suffering with trying to be a perfectionist, something that is unattainable as clearly no one on this planet is perfect. Here is something else for those people battling with perfectionist traits to consider. It is not unusual for some folk who only want to achieve perfection, that in the end their innate fear of failure actually motivates them to decide not to do anything at all. However if you don’t enter the race in order to avoid failure then even that person who comes last has achieved so much more than you !! The secret to breaking free from the crippling effect of perfectionism is simply to swap the hard and fast rule attempting to always do things perfectly to choosing to always do your best but within the confines of time, present skills and resources available. That way you can never fail and how could anyone do better than their best anyway ? It is ok to reserve the right to do even better next time.
An understanding of structure and layout of the face is the third element that is vitally significant to become a good portrait artist. Despite the fact that we are constantly looking into peoples faces it really is astonishing, how little precise detail we notice.
And fourthly, an insight into the five main components of a face, ie eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hair. The same is true here as well, in terms of the lack of precision and detail we notice of the individual parts of a face. Throughout our lives we encounter peoples faces, but would still find it a challenge to relay an accurate representation of what we have seen to someone else, this is because our recognition is something of an overall picture rather than a very precise image. The reason behind this relates to how our brain functions, the job of the right half of the brain is to processes our images but it does it a holistic fashion at lightening speeds. Once the image has registered we tend to see what we anticipated seeing rather than a exactly what it is we are seeing. An example of that phenomena in action, is when I shaved my beard off recently that I had worn for years and some members of the family never even noticed until it was pointed out. One response was “I thought there was something different but I wasn’t sure what it was”.
It just proves the point that when viewing things holistically we just fill in the gaps but not always accurately. Being aware of this phenomena means that we need to become much more focused with our observations when learning how to draw a portrait.
Then finally the glue that puts this all together and brings your drawings to life is “shading” thus creating a 3 dimensional result and brings it all to life. Shading is not something that comes naturally for most of us but most certainly a simple skill that can be learnt.
How to draw a portrait
July 16 2011 07:20 pm | Uncategorized