Artists' Insight

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The room is peaceful, with blues music and scratches setting the mood. Using pencils, pastels, and paints, seventeen artists seated in a circle give their own renditions of a single subject. Looking upward, a dance instructor sits as the subject in the middle of the canvasses.

Her refined features and upswept hair take all the attention of some of the artists. The others decide to draw her limbs in long strokes or in soft, shaded strokes. By superimposing different watercolor images across the canvas, a painter from Crystal Lake achieves the illusion of movement. The group's weekly sessions are her outlet for trying new techniques and practicing figure drawing, which she puts aside for her landscape paintings.

Most people feel it is natural to practice playing an instrument, but they do not think that art takes practice. She stands back to assess today's art and finds she likes it. Inspiration can strike at any time for artists, whether after hours of labor or a quick practice run, and portraits in particular require a rendering that reaches out to the viewer through the expression of the human figure.


Another lady artist, who returned two years ago from a 20 year hiatus when she lost herself in the world of business, uses portraiture as her primary medium of expression She has always been attracted by portraits. When she does a portrait, she paints what she has understood to be the subject's feelings. She is bold but effective in her color choices, dark green, blue, yellow and white, to convey the model's grace.

The depth of art comes from the ability of an artist to look beyond face colors. Lighting is everything, adding cool tones, like greens and blues, and warm tones, like yellows and whites. Renoir was the grand example of this technique, which she is trying hard to master. Commissioned work can be done with live sittings or photographs. Patrons must weigh the convenience of sending a photograph with the accuracy of personality depiction with a live sitting. It takes much effort to depict personality through art. It can be a mere split second when the subject lets his personality show. She does not dwell on recreating one's likeness, but she still does a good job of it. Her paintings are better, she feels, when she can express the subject's inner beauty.


When working on commission, artists must reconcile personal concepts and perceptions with the patron's requests. Vibrant colors can also be used to enhance portraits.

Increase your knowledge on paintings at watercolor painting from photographs.Get more information about paintings by visiting oil paintings from photographs.

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