Portrait Art Styles – Understanding Works of Portrait Artists

2nd 2 - Portrait Art Styles - Understanding Works of Portrait Artists

Art has been around for a long time and artists keep evolving, keeping the art lovers on their toes. Over the years, what great art means have been defined and re-defined with great artists coming to the forefront, not afraid to let their voices shine in the world of art.

Contemporary portrait art is one of those forms that can be so diverse. From painting portraits in the front view to painting it in profile, these can be explored in so many ways. They can be three-dimensional or flat, realistic or abstract; all of them expresses the thoughts of the artists and broaden the mind of the art lover.

A good contemporary portrait artist will always let us into the inner workings of the subject. Whether through the eyes, through the expressions, through the different objects embedded in the painting, the pose, or the clothing, the painting has to tell its own story.

Portraits can be expressed in different styles. The style of a painting absolutely depends on the portrait painting artists. For example, the painting Lucien Freud did of the Queen stirred a lot of controversy as it was a less than flattering representation of her. But, come to think of it, the direction any painting takes is usually the prerogative of the artist doing the work.

That being said, there are various styles any contemporary portrait artist can adopt to tell their art stories. Some of them are highlighted below:

Realism

This contemporary portrait art style expresses art in the realest way possible. Check paintings in the section Nude Surreality in this website. The pictures depicted are near to actuality and they capture what is factual in the closest way possible. Most people see this type of art as the real thing in that the subject is portrayed as close to the real thing as possible. Da Vinci’s work in Mona Lisa is a typical example of realism.

Impressionism

Sometime in the 18th century in Europe, some brilliant artists started thinking of the best way to use light in their works, with different motions and impression which was what eventually birthed impressionism. You will see evidence of this style in the works of Monet or Vincent Van Gogh.

Expressionism

The expressionism style is often characterized by the use of bold colors and also bold strokes to tell the story not necessarily as it appears to the viewer, but as the artist interprets it. The colors chosen are usually unrealistic in portraying the way the subject realistically. The paintings that best depict this are “the frolicking dancers”, painted by Henry Matisse.

Photorealism

This is a style closely related to realism but often appears a lot realer than what reality dictates. It is a style which has dominated the art scene since the early 1940s. It resembles a digital photograph and some artists even go as far as projecting these photographs on their canvas to ensure accuracy. Some work it as it is using freehand, while others make use of a grid system to make the image larger than life.

 

 

 

 

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