Portrait Progression

I just had to share how I have progressed in my portrait skills since becoming a member of The Virtual Instructor.

This first portrait was done right after I started taking the portrait course. Mr. Beloved and I call it “Fang”. The “fangs” are actually my attempt at making the grey hairs in his beard. LOL!

This next one was after completing the portrait course and doing some extra drawing classes, plus practice.

This last one is soft pastels and pastel pencils on Canson MiTients blue toned paper. It was done just a couple of months ago.

By the way, I don’t use watermarks on my digital images anymore. I did in the beginning, because I was afraid of theft. Well, you can’t stop that and who would want to steal my work, anyway? LOL!

I don’t believe my work is all the great, but I can sure see an improvement. These are all my beloved husband. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Improvement is such a difficult word. I mean, I love all of the three as different styles. The first one is taking a cartoonish style and it’s gradually becoming more serious portrait-like. Since I am involved in animation making, I don’t place huge value in super-realism. I believe you have been successful in getting the charms of the model across all the time, using different approaches to portraiture drawing and painting.


I think your progress through the 3 pictures is amazing, from your tonal drawing to the colour one, Wow!


You have definitely made progress. WOW!


Yes, Maki, I understand what you are saying. When I began, I wanted to be desperately realistic. So much so that doing art was very stressful and I had no joy in doing it. I have since learned to loosen up and it is becoming satisfying again. When I make portraits, I mostly want to be realistic, but not too strictly realistic, if you know what I mean. I want them to be instantly recognized, but maybe a little fanciful and soft. Actually, I don’t exactly know what all I want, but I think I have improved. LOL!


Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Hi GInny. I understand what you mean with progress. When drawing a face, we want the soul to shine through, not necessarily the perfect details. This being said, I prefer the 3rd one simply because we get the warmth of the individual, whereas the first two did not project it so well. I guess, the third one has the advantage of being in pastels (softer) and in color. Great job, as usual.

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This is fantastic! Your hard work really shows. I cannot express how much I am impressed. This progression clearly shows incredible improvement. But not only improvement, but also a clear development of a defined style - a unique, important style.

Your skill in handling the medium is beyond impressive. Your knowledge of composition has clearly developed and is mature. Your art is the art created by a true artist now - one that has a defined, unique style executed with the highest level of skill.

If you haven’t already, I suggest that you start looking into working with a gallery. I think that you have progressed to a point where your art is at a professional level and that you now have a chance to begin making a name for yourself. A big part of this is the style that you have allowed to emerge over time. It is truly unique and reminds me somewhat of Cezanne’s portraits with a more controlled approach.

It is important for us to learn the basic skills of art creation, which anyone can accomplish with dedication, hard work, practice, and knowledge. But developing skills is only one piece of the puzzle. The style that is uniquely yours is important as well. And you have done this. You haven’t tried to force a style out, you’ve let it come out. And it’s wonderful.

You are impressive and your work is too! Thanks for sharing this - it’s a testament to anyone that wants to become an artist - you surely have.


Thank you, Matt. I am overwhelmed by your encouraging comment. I don’t see that I am doing so great, but I will trust that you know what you are talking about and try to lean into it. LOL! I still feel a little uncomfortable calling myself an artist. I do it, but it gives me a little twinge of guilt. LOL!

Thanks, again, for what you do here at The Virtual Instructor. :smiley:


Wow Ilove this. For your first time, it looks like you mastered it.

Thank you for your response, Ginny. I once wrote something about portrait painting here. I am managing this blog site mostly in Japanese, but this article was written in English since I was talking about an Australian artist in this post. I wonder if you may find it interesting to know about what Dostoevsky said about the difference between portrait photo and portrait painting. It’s just FYI :smiley:

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Thank you, Maki. Very nice article. Yes, I think I have seen his quote before or maybe something like it. I tell myself, all the time, “If you want photo-realistic, take a photo!” LOL!

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