Portrait Painting Studies and Sketches

 

Painting from life is a joy as well as an opportunity to get to know the subject of a portrait painting. It provides valuable information that can be missed by the camera. Color, personality, habits and quirks are noticed while sketching. Poses become a bit more natural when held for a little while during a sketch session. The color sketches above are portrait or figure studies from life. I use oil paint when I can and use pastel when sketching children to save time. The collection above includes sketched color studies from life that were used, along with photographs, as reference material for commission paintings. At times a pencil drawing of the head or hands is useful. Charcoal studies of parts or the entire portrait painting are are another useful type of study. I paint professional models from life for my own education and enjoyment. I also included a series of self-portrait studies. I rarely see a photograph of myself that I like so all of the self-portraits were created with the use of a mirror. Most of the studies were painted solely from life, without the use of photography, and in one session.