Most people tend to answer: ‘Getting the likeness.’ But any experienced, successful,and honest portrait painter can tell you that ‘getting a likeness’ is purely a matter of careful observation and measurement of the physical proportions of your sitter. A human subject can, and should be, assessed by the artist in the same way as you would a landscape, still life or any other subject for a painting.The real challenge is to convey the character of the person you are painting. For this, it is essential to arrange at least one face-to-face meeting with your Subject, lasting at least two hours. Although it is natural to offer coffee or a cold drink, avoid letting this become a social visit. The time of your sitter is at least as valuable as your own and s/he is at your studio for a purpose. Use the time well.A very good way to get a feel for the inner Self of your subject is to make this first meeting a photo session. With a fast-action camera – hand-held, no tripods or fancy lights to make the sitter nervous and self-conscious – you can ask questions while you snap away. Somehow, people are always willing to… Read full this story
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