Painting A Male Portrait: Simple Two-Step Process That You Can Master – Introduction and Personal Reflection.
Painting a male portrait is similar to painting a female portrait, although there are a few considerations to keep in mind. I will go through some of these below as well as some of my thoughts on my final painting.
One of the key differences I’ve observed with male portraiture is that facial features and bone structure are often more exaggerated than in female portraits. Let me elaborate. In this portrait, the subject presents with strong cheekbones, jaw-line, nose, and brow-ridge. So, you will find that when painting, less blending is required and you can get away with creating more hard edges. So, with male portraiture, more often than not you will find that there is less ‘softness’ due to the structure of the male face, especially with age.
For some reason, I felt rushed when painting this portrait. I find a sense of flow/held concentration can allow you to tap into your painting skills better. At first, like driving a car, there’s a period of constant focus while learning a particular technique like wet-in-wet. However, after some time, carrying out specific painting techniques becomes more automatic so long as you have a plan.
I always try to ‘paint’ the subject in my head prior to starting. Planning what parts you’ll paint first (such as the face) and later (the background) will help you greatly during the painting process. You don’t want to be thinking about compositional elements or whether the subject’s eyes are too close together or not while you’re painting. It divides your attention. This can produce unexpected results. Watercolor painting reminds me of chess at times, planning ahead a few moves to visualize an end result. There are fewer options in watercolor in terms of layering over previous colors, due to the transparent nature of this medium.
With some extra time, I would have added extra details to the face, including fine lines and details for the eyes. However, this gives you an idea roughly of what can be accomplished in approximately an hour. I like to paint the skin and other lighter areas first, such as parts of the clothing. Once this layer has dried, you can then go over the top and add in the darker elements.