A group for people who draw or paint portraits.  Ask questions and share your favorite tips and techniques. 

Members: 301
Latest Activity: 33 seconds ago


Hello and Welcome to the Portraits Group!


This is the place to share your portrait art and discuss all aspects of making portraits.


If you would like to share your portrait art, you can either post in the Show & Tell thread or start your own discussion by clicking the big blue "Add a Discussion" button at the bottom of the Discussion Forum section of this page.. You will likely get more views and replies if you start your own discussion.

If you would like a critique or want some advice on a specific work-in-progress, you can start your own discussion by clicking here:

If you would like to share progress shots of your portrait art in its various stages, that's great too! Tutorials are welcome!

If you upload your art for critique or Show & Tell, please also tell us about the art: for instance, tell us the size, medium, what the piece means to you, etc. If you want a critique please also tell us what areas of the artwork you are unsure about and what you were trying to achieve (realism? expressionism? etc).

Click here to learn how to upload images into your forum posts (which is important so that people can see your art within the post, rather than as an attachment link beneath your post).

Just two simple rules:

  • Please keep all discussions relevant to portraits and all aspects of making a portrait.
  • Be friendly and considerate in your posts.

Thanks for joining & have fun!

Discussion Forum

La Priere after Bouguereau

Started by Mike Fone 33 seconds ago. 0 Replies

This is a copy from the French artist Bouguereau. You can find the original painting on the Art Renewal site. I find the lighting especially fascinating here. You may notice just how important tonal values and turns are in this painting. Dare I say…READ MORE

The Indian Man

Started by Mike Fone. Last reply by R L Oliver 4 hours ago. 5 Replies

Oils on 12 x 16 inch canvasI asked my neighbours son if I could take his photo for a painting. He said yes.So, zoom in, snap snap and away. I set too with the brush and soon there it was. Some days it just happens. I haven't got it figured yet and…READ MORE


Started by Wayne Llewellyn. Last reply by Mike Fone 21 hours ago. 7 Replies

Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone on here could help me with this minor task, because I am struggling. I am looking to recreate these grey tones, on Marvin Hagler, yet I am not sure of the amounts acrylic paint to mix and what color to start…READ MORE

Copying from the masters

Started by Mike Fone. Last reply by R L Oliver 21 hours ago. 3 Replies

Frequently enough I run out of subjects to paint so either fall to a self portrait or a copy of a master, in this case  a Leonardo angel. I've used A4 pastel paper. At this time I was recovering from surgery and was forbidden to paint standing at…READ MORE

Acrylic Painting- Madiba

Started by Carmelita Cornelius. Last reply by Mike Fone on Thursday. 1 Reply

I am still busy working on this. I am not a good painter and am kind of stuck because I don't know how else to give this flat painting some form. I know I should add tone and detail, but I have not established enough technique to execute the…READ MORE

Self Portrait

Started by Liz Faust. Last reply by Mike Fone on Thursday. 11 Replies

I have the hanging up on my door at my university as a name tag. Done with a mechanical pencil. What do you guys think?…READ MORE

Self portraits

Started by Al L. Jones. Last reply by Mike Fone on Thursday. 7 Replies

Have you ever done yourself, and how hard was it? It's been said that a self portrait is one of the hardest portraits to do.Do you feel this is true?READ MORE

Skin tones in oils

Started by Merrie Kapron. Last reply by Laurel Nichols Jan 9. 5 Replies

This is my second portrait in oils. Skin tones are a challenge and I am open to comments/suggestions.…READ MORE

Portrait ung Pencil

Started by Jesrel Terante. Last reply by Jesrel Terante Oct 8, 2014. 2 Replies

Just a PencilREAD MORE

Recent charcoal portrait

Started by Merrie Kapron. Last reply by Merrie Kapron Jul 22, 2014. 6 Replies


Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Portraits to add comments!

Comment by R L Oliver on January 16, 2015 at 10:20am

Patricia, when I have purchased Bristol Board paper it has always come in sheets. I haven´t seen anything in a pad, but then art supplies here in Cali are fairly limited to begin with.  Some great alternative paper I have recently discovered is called Bockingford Block by St. Cuthberts Mill. It is the highest quality paper I have found outside of Arches. One type has a velour finish that they say is most exceptional.

Comment by Patricia Kim Worsley on January 15, 2015 at 3:16pm

Hi, can somebody please enlighten me ... im pretty uneducated when it comes to art supplies and went to an art supplies store for some Bristol board paper, they only had big sheets, nothing in a pad form. My question is how many different types are there and what would you use the different kinds for? Also which is the best one for pencil portraiture and for working with coloured pencils? Thank you all :)

Comment by R L Oliver on January 7, 2015 at 6:27pm

I am new to this group but have a longstanding interest in drawing and painting faces and folk, i.e. human beings. Don´t have any direction with my work and I guess that is what I am needing most at this point. Any ideas or suggestions on direction finding?

Comment by Pris Hardy on August 7, 2014 at 9:53am

Hi Patricia -  I have found that there are times when it is easier to work sort of backwards.  I use a soft brush, dip it into graphite powder and brush on a light layer where I need it. Then I go back with my kneaded eraser and start pulling out highlights. The highlights give me an idea of where I need to deepen the shadows with my pencil.  The brush creates a soft look, so practice with it a bit to see if its the look you really want.  Good luck! and Have fun!!  Looking forward to seeing the finished product =]

Comment by Laurel Nichols on August 5, 2014 at 2:12pm

Hi Patricia, are you using a pencil? my experience on that was to start and end your each stroke with less strength. Also erase the joint part and redo it could reduce the effect.

Hope this helps :)

Comment by Patricia Kim Worsley on August 5, 2014 at 6:12am

Hi guys! Can anyone pls give me some advice? Im drawing a lady with really long hair, my question is how do I get that smoothness, the hair is so long im finding it difficult to avoid those joining choppy lines you get from not being able to do one long stoke at a time? Would appreciate any advice on this .... thanks in advance! :)

Comment by Bette-Jane Schnabel on June 13, 2014 at 12:41pm

I would know this cute gal as a Swede! My family roots are in Stavanger Norway.

Comment by Christina Wood on June 13, 2014 at 12:32pm

Hi Jayne, here's my Swedish cousin again. I would still appeal to the hair-painting masters for some advice on painting blonde hair.

Comment by Jayne Somogy on June 13, 2014 at 12:17pm

Thanks, Christina Wood, for your input--I think your solution to the question is very viable (altho I couldn't find the other portrait you mentioned, but the one below illustrates your point well).  I struggle with putting "backgrounds" into my work (portraits and otherwise), so this is something I need to work on.  Some artists just seem to "naturally" have a style that makes their work not look like a copy of a photo, but not all of us are that lucky or that talented (and who knows how long it took those artists to get to that point--it may not have been 'natural" at all).  I have another question as well.  While I was scrolling through here, I noticed a comment about NOT doing "famous" people because of legal (?) problems if you plan to sell your art.  I HOPE to sell my art and want to know what one can paint/portray and what one cannot.  For example, I would like to do, in my style, a portrait of a photo of Miley Cyrus in her new short hairdo.  Is there some copyright/legal problem with that?  I also have photos of "indigenous" people I have cut out from really old copies of "National Geographic" (like 1950-1970).  Is there a problem with interpreting those photos?  It would be impossible to find or contact the photographers at this point, and would NEVER be able to find the subjects, if that is what is required.  This is all very confusing to me!

Comment by Christina Wood on June 13, 2014 at 11:09am

Following up on Jayne's topic and my answer, here's another less complicated example of realistic portraiture with using the background to set a mood, in this case I wanted a dark mood and to try chiaroscuro.


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