How to Paint a Portrait: 38 Portrait Painting Techniques

If you have been in search of free portrait painting lessons, Artist Daily has you covered! Discover 38 portrait painting techniques, explained in specific, sequential steps you can remember and repeat. From the positioning of the figure to the details of the background, this easy-to-follow process will give you the discipline and focus that the difficult art of portraiture demands. See your portrait paintings come to life with the help of this free portrait painting techniques ebook. From the empty canvas to your completed masterpiece, this downloadable guide of watercolor portrait and oil portrait instruction is perfect for the aspiring portrait artist, whether beginner or experienced.

Download your Free Watercolor Portrait Painting Techniques

What’s inside this free art lesson?

Learn key techniques to create stunning painted portraits from two expert portrait painters in this beautiful eBook.

You will use and reuse this art tutorial, and it’s absolutely free!

Whether you are a veteran at painting portraits, or simply want some basic oil portrait or watercolor tips, this free lesson is one you’ll turn to again and again. Discover why thousands of artists have followed both Rogers’ and Sanden’s guidance on how to pose and lighten their subject, and paint an accurate and satisfying painted portrait. The value of these instructions is in the way they systematically guide artists through the entire process.

How to paint a portrait

Portrait Painting Demonstration

1. Sanden begins by establishing the size and placement of the figure’s head on a stretched canvas, and then he draws the elements of the model’s face.

2. Once he is confident about his drawing, he masses in the warm shadows in the hair, along the side of the face, and in the neck area, gradually giving life to his oil portrait.

3. He then paints the shadows in the lower third of the face.

4. Sanden lightens the value of the flesh color and paints the middle third of the face; then he uses an even lighter color to block in the forehead.

5. Before refining the painting of the face, the portrait painter blocks in the background and blouse to have references with which to judge the relative value and color temperature of the flesh tones.

How to paint a watercolor portrait
Watercolor portrait artist Janet Rogers makes the process of painting watercolor seem almost effortless in that she captures the likeness and personality of her subjects without laboring over all the details. She incorporates gestured strokes of transparent color, natural blends of warm and cool pigments and just enough detail to capture a person’s individual appearance. Rogers has developed advanced watercolor techniques, yet still understands what the rest of us are trying to learn and how much encouragement we need.

Although Rogers’ techniques are not so easy to master, her demonstrations make it clear she can teach almost anyone to improve their skills in watercolor portrait painting. She emphasizes the need to practice, to start over when things fail, and to develop strong drawing skills. She connects with students by confessing that she shares the same need to constantly remind herself about the important steps that must be taken when painting portraits.

How to paint a portrait in oil

Fellow artist John Howard Sanden as he breaks the process of oil portrait painting into detailed stages of development. Learn where to begin and how to prepare for achieving a masterpiece. Learn to capture the likeness of a person’s facial structure and features with hard edges that bring attention to the most important areas of the painting. What better way to learn than from following the steps of one of the most experienced portrait artists? Download your copy of these painting portrait techniques today and learn how to create painted portraits that are sure to get attention.

Sanden’s career as a portrait artist has spanned three decades. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost teachers of professional oil painting methods, and he has toured the nation teaching his ideas and painting oil techniques to thousands of artists. He has been commissioned to paint more than 500 public officials, business leaders, and private individuals, and he is represented by several major brokers. In 1994, ASPA presented Sanden with their first John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

This is just the beginning…

This free oil and watercolor lesson walks you through specific steps to make portrait oil painting and watercolor portrait painting easier. In addition to 38 total portrait painting techniques, you’ll also receive visual insight from top portrait artists to guide you through how to paint a portrait.

Follow the steps of generations of painters who have launched their careers by reading Sanden’s and Rogers’ advice. Learn these painting oiltechniques, and expert insight to develop your own painted portraits. Can’t wait to start your lessons on painting oil portraits and watercolor portraits? Get your free eBook now!


Painting watercolor portraits