The art of portrait

The art of portrait painting in oil colours

This informative book on portrait painting has been preserved for generations and fully deserves to to be available to all portrait artists online. While the art of portraiture has moved on, much of what was written is still valid and relevant to the modern day portrait painter.

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The form of the mouth is different at every period of life. In infancy it is round and contracted, with much beauty of form, and most perfectly constructed for the purpose of extracting nourishment. At this age, too, the mouth assists but little in expression; young children laugh and smile almost entirely with their eyes. As the teeth are produced, the mouth is called upon to fulfil another office. It loses the form which was before necessary to extract sustenance, and with the growth of the teeth becomes elongated and capable of coincidence of expression with the eyes. In old age an equally remarkable change takes place ; the mouth falls into the vacuum formed by the loss of the teeth, and its former ready and varying expression is lost.

In colouring the mouths of children and youth, the clear coral hue which distinguishes health must be carefully imitated ; and the markings of the mouth, particularly at the corners and the centre of the bow which divides the lips, require the nicest attention. Between the male and female mouth there is no generic difference, but an expression of firmness in the marking under the lower lip is peculiar to the former.

This organ is gifted with the most comprehensive power of expression, and it is scarcely necessary to allude to the propriety of harmonising the sentiment of the mouth with that of the eyes. The drawing and painting of the outer corners of the mouth will require the utmost attention.

It has been customary, according to conventional form, to leave the nostril as finished by a single touch of the brush ; but this is not sufficient, for if the nostril be not carefully made out, the wing of the nose is imperfectly described, and this, especially in aged persons, is sometimes a prominent feature.


About John Payne

Pet Portraits     Art for sale - oil paintings

I’ve been a professional portrait artist for the last 12 years but have been painting for a lot longer . I started out by painting nothing but seascapes and still do the odd one from time to time , I then moved onto landscapes and wildlife paintings before I finally decided to concentrate on portraits.

I get commissioned to paint a lot of pets , mainly dogs – but I also get to paint a fair amount of portraits of people.

more about John                                                                  John Payne       




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