Portrait and Figure Painting

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Painterly People | Carol McSweeney Watercolor Portraits

The watercolor portraits of Carol McSweeney, which she describes as “carefully and sometimes deceptively loose,” convey the artist’s fascination with the human spirit and the unique beauty she observes in people. McSweeney is passionate about getting to know her subjects. “It’s educational for me to meet and hear about their lives and then create a piece that...

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Drawing and Visual Trickery | Meet Brent Eviston

A successful drawing requires the artist to leave behind the names and often meanings of familiar objects and places. Instead the artist sees a collection of shapes, relationships and values. I had glimpsed the world as pure, elemental form and for a moment I had difficulty shifting back to seeing things as I always...

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Everyday People: Jose Apaza Watercolor Figures

Peruvian-born artist José Apaza takes a simple, straightforward approach to his watercolor figures and portraits. He cites regular people, not artists, as his primary creative influence. View some of these humble people in this watercolor gallery.

Gesture drawing poses | Jon deMartin, ArtistsNetwork.com

Improve Your Figure—With Gesture Drawings

The practice of gesture drawing is an important part of understanding the figure and its ability to create interesting shapes from limitless motions. Jon deMartin, author of Drawing Atelier: The Figure, offers guidance on this in the following excerpt. Gesture Drawing: Finding the Gesture and Orienting Forms by Jon deMartin The figure’s line of...

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Pastel Journal Award of Excellence Winner | Manuel Rodrigues Almeida

In his marvelous and large-scale pastel painting, Doris, Portugese artist Manuel Rodrigues Almeida has painted, not just a portrait, but an emotional moment The painting measures nearly 5 feet to a side—well over life size, fully immersing viewers in its somber scene of a woman who seems to be fighting, and failing, to hold...

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An Imaginary Realm | The Inventive Pastels of Jane Lewis

"The figures in Jane Lewis’ paintings," writes John Parks, "look out at us from a becalmed, strange and curiously timeless world. Rendered impeccably in subtly shifting tones and hues, the paintings present characters dressed in improbable costumes that seem to belong to a bygone, classical age.

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Watercolor Portrait Demo: LeAnn | Mario A. Robinson

Esteemed portrait and figure painter Mario A. Robinson uses a monochromatic block-in to achieve  light, medium and dark skin tones. Follow along as he creates a medium skin tone for his watercolor portrait of LeAnn: I painted LeAnn using a cool light to illuminate the subject. The light cooled the warm tones of the skin, as well...