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Portrait Artists Must Know Their Craft

Pastel Portrait Painting by Master Pastel Artist, L.A. Charnack/Cline

Pastel Portrait Painting by Master Pastel Artist, L.A. Charnack/Cline

A portrait artist is held to different standards than most other artists. While there is sometimes room for expression of a creative nature, most people who are interested in commissioning a portrait of themselves or someone else are looking for a portrait artist who will be able to create a close likeness of that person. The face is the most important part of a portrait painting and an experienced artist knows this.  It is very important to choose the right portrait artist when they are commissioning a portrait.

A great portrait artist knows the importance of facial expressions and is able to capture them in the painting. Every person expresses themselves differently, and finding out which facial expression captures their persona is a key to success in portrait art.

While sketching the basic design, a portrait artist will position the head of a subject in a way that is natural yet pleasing to the overall look of the finished piece.  Everyone has their own individual look and stance or the way they carry themselves. This naturalness is a part of the personality of your subject.  When commissioning a portrait, you may want to talk with the portrait artist about what makes you feel comfortable as a pose and what you consider your “best side” to be portrayed in the painting.

Few careers are as challenging and rewarding as that of being a portrait artist. It is best to, of course, like people and be friendly and empathetic towards others. Taking the time to get to know your subject and connecting with them on a personal level will help you gain the trust of people who are commissioning a portrait.  When you build that trust and a following of happy clients for whom you have worked, you will undoubtedly be sought out as a reliable and talented portrait artist.


Written by: L.A. Cline. Master Pastel Artist