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Home >> Sketches >> Sketch Portraits

Sketch Portraits

Portraits are representations of a person or object. Most of the time portraits are head shots or “mug shot” of a person. They are simple and portray the basic appearance of a person. Sketch portraits capture the essence of the subject.

About Sketching Portraits:
Sketching portraits have been popular ever since prehistoric times. The art of sketch portrait was most popular in Rome. In the 4th century the portrait was abandoned in favor of idealized symbols. The renaissance revived portraiture. Portraits were made in paintings as well as sculptures. In the middle of the 20th century portrait art decreased in popularity. Abstract and nonfigurative art became more popular. However portraits have made a comeback recently. Plenty of contemporary artists have used the face as a focal point in their work. Portraits can show the full body, half body or just the torso of the subject.

Guidelines to Making Sketch Portraits:
While making sketch portraits it is easier to visualize straight lines in place of curved ones. A few lines depicting the major angles of the face and hair are drawn first. The facial features are built upon them later on. A typical face has landmarks which are at equal distance from one another. The eyes are marked using a combination of brush and vine charcoal. Once the eyes are darkened the attention of the viewer are focused on them. In order to balance the focus more shadows are added particularly at the jaw line. An eraser is used to add highlights and smudge effects. The bold strokes are drawn first and lighter strokes are added later to create field of depth and give character to the image. Once the portrait is finished it is fixed by spraying on a fixative. This is done to prevent smudging or smearing.

Sketch portraits are usually easy to draw since they do not require color and are simply shaded to create effects.
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