Portrait & Figurative Art: How to Draw or Paint People & Figures

Mastering figurative art is no small feat, particularly when it comes to portrait art. Rendering the human form, in any medium, requires careful attention to proportions, scale, and familiarity with anatomy. Here we delve into must-know information on figure painting and portraiture, from how to draw people and how to draw portraits to moving beyond a sense of likeness to capture a figure’s essence.

Smoke Signals (oil, 48x60) by Kevin Muente

Painting Hair with Kevin Muente

I use a similar technique to paint hair and grass, but this demonstration is for hair. After I’ve decided on the shape of the head and have examined the overall dimensions (the width and the length), I feel ready to paint the area. Notice the line across the back of the head and the...

cropped KatharineHepburn_drawing_RaymondKinstler

Do Your Homework | Everett Raymond Kinstler on Drawing

“There are three things that are important: feeling, imagination, and the means to communicate.” Everett Raymond Kinstler, one of America’s leading portraitists, shared this insight in the newest issue of Drawing (Winter 2014). His feature article focuses on the importance of the sketches of his models and subjects, and how he’s able to convey...

George Washington

Sneak Peek: Masterpieces From the National Portrait Gallery

The winter 2014 issue of Drawing focuses on the topic of portraiture, and one of the highlights in this issue is a new installment in our Curator’s Choice series, which takes us into the vaults of the National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.si.edu). The National Portrait Gallery, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, collects portraits of...