art4you Scotland

21st Century Portraits – working methods

The 21st century has introduced us to artist using a computer screen and programs in which you select the size of the line wanted and then, using the mouse, draw with it. It is fascinating seeing portraits appear with pared down to the bare minimum, just huge areas of flat colour and a single outline not dealing with tiny details.

                               
Richard Wilson by Charlie Wells,                            Yellow portrait with squeegees by Will Nunes
computer generated portrait

But not everybody is drawn to work with the computer. Many people still like to have the direct contact with the pencil on paper, or brush on canvas. To keep the own output fresh one sometimes should abandon habits and stretching the scope of the materials – squeegees, sponge and fabrics springs to mind.

There is no right or wrong way – that’s why it’s good to experiment. Afterall, when given rules, the person the teaches has only formed them from the basis of their own experience and abilities.

Methodes variy from starting a portrait by working on one eye, finishing it perfectly and then moving over to complete the other eye or draw the whole protrait, map it out and then fill that map in with colour or an all over approach by painting the whole portrait as a blured out of focus photograph and then gradually refine, correcting things that don’t work. Many more methods are possible. As said: there is no right or wrong way.

During our portrait class we encourge students to develop their own style guided and encouraged by the teaching artist but never telling them their method is wrong. We all learn by doing and our classes allow you to do so.