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Figure Painting, Anatomy, and Portraiture

Helpful tips, info on essential techniques and anatomy for artists, plus step-by-step demos on figure painting and portraits.
  1. Figure Painting Tips
  2. Free Figure Painting Videos

Painting Skin Tones
An in-depth look at how to paint skin tones (both realistic and expressionist), what pigment colors to use, and how to mix suitable skin tones.

How to Paint Small Figures from Photos
Learn how to paint small figures using photos of people as a starting point.

Painting People from Observation and Memory
In this tutorial I explain how you can learn how to paint people from observation, and from memory, rather than relying on photographs.

Tips for Painting Small Figures
Tips for how to successfully paint small figures to place in a landscape or cityscape.

Figure Painting: Body Proportions
While no-one's built exactly the same, there are a few underlying rules which are invaluable for getting proportions accurate in figure painting.

Figure Painting: Face Proportions
Facial features are crucial to our identity and while we like to believe we're unique, there are a few underlying rules which apply.

Figure Painting: Children's Proportions
Children are not mini-adults when it comes to body proportions. Babies' heads are extremely large in proportion to the rest of their body. As a child grows up, the head becomes smaller in proportion to the rest of the body.

Portrait Painting Demonstration Using a Painting Knife
A step-by-step demonstration of a portrait painting created using a painting knife.

Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Feet
When it comes to painting the feet of a figure, don't do this!

Step by Step Figure Painting Demo: Blues
A step-by-step demo of a painting that's intended to convey a mood rather than detailed realism.

Self Portrait: A Step-by-Step Demonstration
An illustrated, step-by-step demonstration of a self-portrait painting I did in acrylics. Each of the six parts have an explanation of what I did in that step, what I felt was working and what not.

Mixed Media: Figure Painting Using Wax Resist
An example of mixed media painting showing a figure painted using wax resist with pen and watercolor.

Photo Gallery: Expressive Self-Portraits Painting Project
Browse through the photo gallery of self-portraits from the "Expressive Self-Portraits Painting Project" for inspiration and motivation.

Image Gallery: Figure Studies for Figure Painting
Figure painting definitely a subject where regular practise pays off. This collection of figure studies and sketches provides examples.

Why Artists Should Paint Self Portraits
What are the advantages to you as an artist from painting self portraits? Find out here...

The Thin Line Between Portraiture and Caricature
Discover how a subject's personality may influence the way you paint their portrait.

How To Work With Models For Figure Painting
Whether you've got a professional model or a friend posing for you, it's important to establish a good working relationship so you get the most from the sessions.

Drawing Hair
A three-part tutorial on drawing hair from About.com's Drawing Guide.

The Differences Between Men and Women
There are some fundamental differences between men and women when it comes to anatomy. Be aware of these and it'll make your figure painting a little easier.

Basic Poses
An excellent tutorial on understanding basic poses of people, whether sitting, running, or throwing something, using a stick figure.

Putting Figures in a Painting
See how the simple act of putting some small figures in a painting shifts the focus from the surroundings to the figures.

Reference Photos: Hands
A great variety of clear, black-and-white photos of hands in all kinds of gestures and poses. Click on a photo to get a larger picture.

How to Use Watercolor Crayons for Figure Painting
A step-by-step demo showing how I used water-soluble crayons to capture the essence of a figure during a life painting session.

Top Books for Creative Inspiration and Ideas for Artists
My personal choice of the best books on creative inspiration and ideas for artists.

Step-by-Step Demo: Using the Glazing Method in Acrylics for the First Time

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