Set the Pose

There are several options to consider when deciding on a pose

  • PoseHead and Shoulders, Three Quarter, Full Length – Basically, you get more of the subject’s expression with a head and shoulders and tell more of a story with full-length, but with a loss of attention to the expression because of the distractions in the background. If left to my own choices I usually try to get a seated 3/4 length pose because I can get more eye movement throughout the painting with the hands included, but since the subject is seated, I get enough focus on the expression.
  • ViewProfile, Three Quarter, Frontal – A profile portrait is much easier to execute that a full face portrait because you only have to paint one side of the face. I actually prefer a 3/4 view because I get enough shadows to describe the face while still getting a good view of the eyes, which I find to be the most expressive part of the face.
  • LightingBacklighting, Side, Front lighting – I prefer to use natural light, coming in from a single window. I like the color temperature of the natural light and I like the way the single light source describes the features.

Next Post – Plan the Composition