5 Easy Portrait Painting Ideas For Beginners

Portraiture is the art form that has fascinated artists for centuries. Historically, this genre of art dated 5000 years back to ancient Egypt. Once used for general record-keeping, portraits have gradually evolved as a symbol of power, affluence, beauty, elegance, and might be an entire lifestyle of a person. At least once in a lifetime, every artist waits for the moment to reflect his creativity with a portrait.

All portraits depend on drawing skills, knowledge of anatomy, and of course, the selection of colors. In older times, these were the mere representation of the subject. But with changing times, it turned to the portrayal of mood and expressions. 


Every portrait, for instance, a woman portrait, starts with creating a line drawing and blocking in the general colors and shape. Either you use pastels, markers, or oil paints, focus on the details to make your portrait lively. There are many painting ideas with a variety of colors and accessories that make your picture capture the intrinsic nature of the sitter. If you are a beginner and want to acquaint yourself with this form of art, read on to know some easy painting ideas.


1. Portrait From Photograph

A portrait is produced from either real-life or a photograph. If you are a novice, start with the latter one. Turning a photo into a painting has its advantages. The most important is preserving what is getting decayed. Moreover, as an artist, you have the chance to create something extraordinary out of an ordinary photograph. There are various variables associated with real-life portrait making. Your sitter can reflect a variety of expressions and changes position that eventually make the drawing difficult. With a photograph, you can control these variables to make your art undemanding. Although you have to keep an eye on detailing, painting a portrait from a photo is often more accurate. 


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2. Abstract Portrait

Abstract paintings are colorful, vibrant, modern, and have a style statement. Besides, it leaves the door open for personal interpretations. According to the history of the abstract portrait, it is the creative art that lies between seeing the faces in the art and establishing a feeling associated with it. In other words, abstract portraits represent symbolism. Each audience deciphers its exact meaning as per their wish. The paint used for these portraits is often acrylic, one of the best choices for beginners. With no exceptional supplies and a limited budget, you can try anything from geometric patterns to emotional portraits to create a unique art style.


3. Blocking Effect Portrait

When it comes to creativity, color blocking is going strong. Although used in the fashion industry, creative art forms also see block effects in the portraits. When you choose contrasting colors and pair them, it makes eye-catching combinations. If you are a beginner, you know it is easier to create this effect on the portrait. It gives your art a pattern, a sense of rhythm, and liveliness. 


4. Drip Effect Portrait

One of the effortless art styles to make is drips when you master it. It is as simple as spilling paint on the canvas, only it runs like fine lines, in general. This effect comes under the abstract art form, where an artist can use sticks, brushes, or any other material to create the magic. Although this art form is not that common, perfect strokes can be imaginative, symbolizing, and give freedom of creativity. Creating a drip portrait can be challenging initially, but with mastery, it is the most rewarding art idea. All you need for a perfect drip portrait is fluid acrylic and modern equipment, say a basting syringe. 


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5. Monochromatic Portrait

A monochromatic painting means using one hue and its different shades. An artist creates a unifying effect of all the tints of the same color. This kind of drawing can educate an artist to work on tones, gradients, compositions, and lines. As it contains one base color, it shows a drastic effect that conveys simplicity, peacefulness, and purity. Artists often use pencil, charcoal, or ink that is black or gray to produce a monochromatic effect. As a beginner, you can start with a monochromatic portrait that is uncomplicated and understandable.


A good portrait is far beyond visual representation; it always tells something about the subject. Whether it is a story about the sitter or his hobby, personality, or belief, the use of color combinations defines the person’s character. The purpose of a portrait is to captivate the viewers and engage their attention. 

As a learner, you should start developing composition skills that involve artistic elements like lines, shapes, balance, harmony, texture, and symmetry. Visual arrangements with these compositions will make your portrait appealing. The above ideas can help you with your first few portraits and hone your skills. With practice, better techniques, and in-depth knowledge, you will not be far away to generate a masterpiece. 

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