Painting Portraits from a Photo
A commissioned pastel portrait by Ryn Shell.
As your skill in mastering the tonal values of light and shade develops, you will be eager to work with colour. Initially, keep to a simplified colour harmony, as I have done in the portrait above.
Gradually increase the colour range in your artwork after you have learned to paint with colour while not losing the mastery you have gained in tonal value. You may change the colours to suit the preference of the clients, as I have done here. The commission request for the work above was to paint the portrait from the party photo but without the party hat and the tartan dress.
This is another commissioned portrait from a photograph. The backdrop was chosen to integrate the colours of the child’s room. Be aware that some artists choose to only paint famous people so they hove the buzz of their art viewers having instant recognition. In doing this, they often break the copyright of professional photographers who have taken those photos.
Paint with honesty. You flatter people by painting them as they are, accepting them as they are, and not trying to impose your predetermined idea of perfect proportions onto their image.
This child may have had strabismus, I did not ask, I painted the eyes as I sow them and never attempted to correct them to what's considered perfect gaze. The mother was thrilled with the portrait, and it would have been an insult to have changed the way her child looked to appease my concern that people might think I'd painted the eyes askew. If you aren't confident to paint people as they are, best stick to painting celebrities as most do, just take your own photos and don't copy the work of photographers without their permission.
Learning to paint well in pastels requires demonstration, theory instruction and constructive critique. I've designed my art memberships for those students, from beginner to expert, who want more than hobby class.
I just left a five star review for "The Touch."
I purchased this book as a paperback in a bookstore. It will stay in my library as a classic.
I dropped in to leave a five star review out of shock that so many people prefaced a one star review with 'I read and loved the Thorn Birds...' I got the distinct impression that most of those reviewers have never read anything by this great author other than The Thorn Birds and they seemed to expect that this book should be like the Thorn Birds and implied she wasn't as great an author because it wasn't like the Thorn Birds. I don't feel any book deserves a one star for originality.
And that is why I am here. To state that this writer is great because she does not churn out near identical plot lines. That is the mark of greatness not inferior writing. Colleen McCullough has 'the touch.' This is an excellently researched and written historical novel which is, thankfully, nothing like the Thorn Birds, it is original.
You can discount some of the one star reviews as a plant, so obviously a set up to promote other authors as they plugged a mass production romance writer's book. Good authors do not need to spam their book in another author's review. Why does Amazon allow spam adds in reviews?
Colleen McCullough is a great writer. It was an interesting story and it had a great ending. Five stars.
"Ryn Shell is an author and internationally successful award-winning fine artist. Her stories are timeless, her paintings are elegant and beyond fashion"