About

Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
45 mins

Artist's Painting Techniques
CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF FIGURES
Including people in your work can bring it to life, but you don’t need to paint individual portraits. If you focus on the overall activity and spacial relationships between people rather than their facial features and details, your gures will become successful, integrated elements of your
painting.

Posted by DK Books Published See DK Books's 59 projects » © 2019 DK / DK Books · Reproduced with permission.
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  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 1
    Step 1

    Proportion, scale, and space
    Proportion and scale are the most important factors when you paint gures, and the most noticeable if they are wrong. It is also important to add space. There are a few basic rules that can make painting gures easier.

    Proportion
    Although the proportions of individuals vary, the average adult’s height is roughly
    equal to eight head lengths. Children’s body lengths are made up of fewer head lengths the younger they are.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 2
    Step 2

    Scale
    Heads, hands, and feet can be challenging to depict on middle- distance gures, so it’s best to avoid painting them in any detail. Start by making the head smaller than you think; you can adjust it later if necessary.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 3
    Step 3

    Space
    Include slivers of space around the head, arms, and legs of your gures. This stops them looking too solid, and creates
    a sense of movement, detail, and structure.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 4
    Step 4

    In this painting, the footballers’ shapes have
    been simplied to create an impression of movement. Nothing is painted in too much detail to keep the focus on the activity rather than individuals.

    Blocking in shapes
    Use a no. 6 at brush to roughly block in the three players. Focus on getting the
    proportions and positions of the gures right, using approximate colours at
    this stage. You can re ne the details later.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 5
    Step 5

    Adding structure
    Re ne your drawing by painting shadows onto the gures and adjusting
    the colour and tone of their clothing. This gives them more solidity and form.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 6
    Step 6

    Identifying characteristics
    Refine the heads, arms, and legs a little more to bring out each gure’s distinguishing features. Use a no. 1 round brush for these details, and paint freely to maintain a sense of movement.

  • How to create a portrait. Painting People Simply - Step 7
    Step 7

    Final details
    Add small details and highlights to create definition,
    but don’t go into too much detail. To Finish, cut in around the gures to ll in the background, and add shadows on the ground to anchor the gures.

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