Portrait, likeness, image (French portrait; Latin protrahere - bring to light, reveal, show; contrafacere - imitate) - an artistic image (painting, sculptural, graphic, drawing) of a specific person or group of people, showing an external resemblance and sometimes character traits of the portrayed.
There are many ways to paint with oil paints. Some have an interesting history, are noble and difficult to master. Sometimes the availability (price) of materials (paints, media) or the laborious way of preparing the support effectively discourages their use. Most often we see a mixed way of painting. No painting technique is better. The condition is proficiency in using a brush and the ability to transfer to the canvas what we intend to do. Errors and inefficiency are noticeable. Even an unprepared recipient notices them, although most often he is unable to define them. The picture simply loses its harmony and coherence. The portrait is the most difficult because it is verified by the image of a person.
Three basic ways to build a paint layer on a primed canvas. Dynamic impasto forming the third dimension on the surface, flat application of paint requiring special attention, because only color and drawing define reality, and the traditional and noblest technique of glaze.
Impastas. Thick, primed canvas. Confidence of the hand and awareness of a certain randomness allow you to achieve very interesting results. In traditional portraits, subtle impastos are often used in the lights and to add expression to the matter.
Oil sketch on a primed board. The smooth painting layer of the painting obliges. The color is created on the artist's palette, and the light slides on the surface ... The drawing and the color defining the subject become important.
Glaze layers. It is a traditional, specific painting technique of the old masters. Special paints must not be opaque. After application, they form a transparent layer, and the final color is the sum of all colors. Subsequent layers must be dry, which takes time, but the final effect is unique. The color becomes deep, the light penetrates the center of the layers, and the whole thing resembles several sheets of thin glass of different colors, folded together.
In the past, the masters rubbed the paints themselves in their studios. From the nineteenth century, the production and packaging of ready-made paints in tubes began. This allowed the artists to go out into the open air with their entire workshop. Currently, we have access to repeatable and often excellent quality products. Sometimes there are cheated and spiced colors - to make them "prettier". This applies in particular to glaze paints, to which white is often added because they are too dark in their pure form. In the selection of paints, nothing can replace the knowledge and experience of the creator.
The offer of paints on the market is large. The price is not always a guarantee of quality. The choice depends only on the painter, his experience and awareness of what specific paints are intended for.
Brushes are usually the secret of the artist's workshop. There are artists who attach excessive importance to them. In my opinion, any tool is good as long as it achieves what I want to do on the canvas. Sometimes special brushes are necessary - thin, with long, naturally arranged bristles, but these are special cases. There are many anecdotes about what the greatest masters painted. It is worth reaching for them, they can surprise you.
Basic collection of my everyday tools. There is nothing special about it. The biggest problem is when your favorite brushes are already wearing down and you need to replace them with new ones that I have to get used to.
The painting palette is the second taboo subject after brushes. I use several pallets of different sizes, and even more often, when working precisely with a small amount of paints, I use old CDs - they work perfectly. There are patterns and recommendations defining the arrangement of individual colors on the palette, their mutual relations, mixing proportions ... Perhaps ...
The creator's workshop is interesting and can fascinate. However, it is not paints and brushes that create the final effect that can delight or arouse aversion. The image, especially the portrait, is verified by the client and the recipients. This is the only criterion for the value of the work, apart from the author's satisfaction.