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How to Get a Vivid Portrait

How to Get a Vivid Portrait

As a multidisciplinary artist I find myself doing a lot of things and experiencing a variety of materials in the fields of design and art. One of the leading areas of my work is portrait painting.

Portrait painting is ostensibly an unequivocal thing; most people have a fairly definite image for the meaning of portrait painting. But in fact each person has a slightly different or very different image of portrait. Some people know the classic portrait of art history, the most famous of which is Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. This portrait depicts a half-bodied lady seated on a chair and behind her a landscape that disappears into the horizon. It should be noted that she sits at almost a 3/4 angle towards the painter and not as frontal as most people usually remember. This angle is not accidental; it was based in the history of art from the perception that in this way the human portrait is presented at its best, with most details and in a flattering way. In the Netherlands of the 17th century, this idea was sharpened and culminated in hyper realistic portraits showing the nose directly touching the cheek line at this particular angle.

Another form of classic portrait is the profile, or profile, which was particularly strong in antiquity, when the emperor's coins were minted with his portrait. In this way, the emperor's image was disseminated, and his power were also shown. The profile portrait is the most powerful in terms of unique character description and allows easy and immediate identification. In later generations, the profile portrait will appear in many paintings, hinting at the power of the figure in the painting. The lateral portrait was designed to complement the figure and to magnify his power and beauty, and was therefore favored by nobles and kings throughout the generations.

On the other hand, the frontal portrait is much rarer than the two mentioned, it is considered less flattering, more revealing and may betray a lack of symmetry to the character. Similarly, when I receive an order to draw a portrait, people send me a photograph and I request that it be large and sharp and includes clear details such as eye and hair coloration, but many of these images are foreground, planned, frozen and artificial with ritual smiles.

Of course, the optimal situation was to set up a series of meetings and draw a "living" image of the person sitting in front me. The built-in constraints of the modern world lead to working with photographs. Therefore, I suggest that you be photographed non frontal, you do not have to smile, it's better to create a movement or some gesture, or interaction between people / animals and choose your appearance well in the sense of dressing and hair style, since the details you will take are the ones that will eventually appear in your portrait.

It is true that it is very difficult for a person sitting in front of a painter to persist in a fixed posture without moving and looking at the painter. It is much more comfortable to paint a portrait of a person sitting comfortably and concentrated on something else. That way he is calm and able to persevere for a long time, so that it convenient both for the painter and for the painted person. As a result, the portrait usually does not describe a frontal view but looking sideways, and even tilting the head. These natural postures are much more graceful than a frozen front view in a stiff artificial position. When you photograph a person for a portrait, I suggest that you adhere to the same rules of relaxation and interaction to get a vivid portrait and a spark of personality.

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