Portrait Sketch

I was inspired today from a video by Max Ginsburg where he paints a portrait of a model. This led to me trying my hand at my own portrait sketch but with much less success.

I haven’t done a portrait in oil for a long time so I’m a bit out of practice here so it’s good that I get back into it today. Honestly I need to do a portrait at least once a week to keep in practice.

I chose an image from New Masters Academy. The have a ton of images of models doing expressions, most of which are exaggerated expressions but I was more interested in the very subtle nuances of the face. Much like a portrait by Rembrandt the models don’t have extreme expressions but the emotion is profoundly deep and present.

After getting the basic shape of the head done I focused on the eye and spent a lot of time getting it as accurate as I could. After about an hour and a half of painting I realized that if I wanted to get the same detail and accuracy in the rest of the head I would need about 9 hours on this painting. Honestly my motivation in doing this portrait would not exceed more than 2 hours at this point so I switched focus to just trying to get the general planes of the face placed.

If I had spent a few more hours on this painting I could have completed something much better but I was more concerned with the start of this portrait. I feel that my skills could be better served by getting a clear process in place for starting a portrait rather than working on rendering high detail.

Portrait Sketch, setup

4 thoughts on “Portrait Sketch”

  1. I am curious as to what YOU think you focus on the most? Do you like figure, portraits, landscape, still life, simple objects, or another subject?
    Your daisies were great, and so I tend to think you enjoy still life/flowers the most. But then I see some of your figure drawings and I think THAT must be what you enjoy most, since you spend time outside of studios working on it. Just curious…

    • Actually I’m leaning more towards the figure every day, but with that comes portrait and the space the figure occupies. So focus of figure, but that will dictate that I have at least a good knowledge in all the other aspects of art.


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