Learning how to paint portraits that aren’t only realistic, but also capture emotion and feeling can be difficult. A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.
For those of you who are interested in learning the art, Dianae from deviantART has an excellent tutorial on digital painting. It comes in 3 parts in both English and French, and also has accompanying brushes and a screencapture lapse video.
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