portrait sample

Self-Portrait, 1895 - Kazimierz Pochwalski (1855-1940) - painter, known primarily as a portraitist, considered a master of portrait sample. Besides, practiced religious & genre painting, left numerous sketches landscapes, flowers & still lifes. In the years 1871-79 he studied at the Krakow School of Fine Arts at the Jan Matejko, then studied abroad at University of Munich (1877-88) by Alexander Maximilian Seitz, & then Vienna & Paris. In the years (1885-93) lived in Krakow.


@lilly-white​ Instead of a step by step, Assuming you already have a base knowledge of how to paint digitally, I thought an over view of sorts would be easier and a little bit quicker for me to explain.

I have collected a few samples of portraits from the old masters that show off, far better than I ever could, how much variation there is to be found in the human complexion. It’s far more than a few shades of beige, brown and peachy yellows. There are blues, greens, purples and reds  - a whole array of colours that can add a realism, personality and vibrancy to your work.

Whilst no two people are the same, there are some patterns to be found. 
In Caucasian faces, you typically find reds, pinks, and purples in the cheeks, nose and ears, basically anywhere that is prone to a bit of flushing. Intensity will depend on age, gender, lifestyle and emotional state. Blues and greens can be found around the lower face and jaw this is especially so for men, in women the colouration is subtler. There is also a very slight yellowing around the corners of the mouth. 
The darker the skin becomes the stabler and more consistent the skin tone seems to be, typically consisting more of darker purples, reds, blues and greens. Again, age, lifestyle and gender will have an impact on complexion. 
There are of course environmental factors that will affect the appearance of colours on the face but for the sake of brevity - I’ll save that for another time.  

There are a few rules of thumb I always use. These are not hard Rules, just tips. 

* Never paint straight onto a pure white background. Always lay down a neutral mid of some kind before you lay down ANY other colour. You will be amazed at the difference this makes to your approach.  

* Don’t use editorial / fashion images for referencing natural skin tone. You will not get a true representation of fleshy goodness here my friend. Oh no. 

* Referencing is not the devil, nor is it cheating. If you need some open whilst you paint, have them open.

* Do master studies. do lots of them. Try to keep it to the deceased artists too, you don’t want to tread on any contemporary toes. I know I harp on all the time about this one but…. honestly if you’re going to learn, learn from the best. Singer Sargent, for me, has some of the finest examples of skin tone painting going and you really do learn so much from replicating. 

I hope this helps <3

| From The Garden | Spray Paint on Raw, Distressed Canvas | 14″ x 20″ | IX .  Kendrick Lamar | Portrait Photo Sampled From: Chris Buck | 

“It’s this idea that you gotta pull from everything that you hate about yourself, everything that you hate about where you come from, and turn it into something positive.” ~Kendrick Lamar 

|The Poetics of Space | Spray Paint on Raw Canvas | 24″ x 30″ x 2″ | VI . XIII . MMXV . | A$VP Rocky | Inspired by his album, A.L.L.A | Portrait Photo Sampled From: Eric Ray Davidson |

It’s another dimension in his mind; a mystical type of journey. A view into the otherside, where things are more colorful and a lot higher. Above all, it’s an attempt to see the universe while trying to understand it. During his interview with Complex on making the album, Rocky quotes, “This is more free than I’ve ever been.”

Compared to, “Purple People Eater,” where that painting is fitted in a bold and gold frame - this painting is unframed, free and raw. It sits on an unprimed canvas because I wanted to illustrate how every aspect of Art is freedom and rawness specific to the individual. As artists, there forever will be parts of our craft and story that will remain unwritten and unexplored. It’s infinite and forever growing at a pace we can never keep up with. But that’s what makes it fun, because we pick and choose those few stars that we see as the brightest and pursue them with gusto.

With a focus on maintaining the slow-down, purple codeine flow from Live. Love. A$AP and my first portrait, “Purple People Eater;” I tried to take it another level higher with the introduction of psychedelics. A hazy, late-night slow burn to the max - Where the sounds begin to echo in the stars.