Portrait of a Man

As you may know I am also a portrait artist. Some of my charcoal portraits can be seen on my official siteWhat interests me most in the portraiture is the freedom of interpretation. I believe that what someone looks like is always up for discussion.

In my portraits I try to show much more than just a physical likeness. I am interested in the person whose portrait I draw or paint and I want to capture their nature and  character.  This is of course much easier if I know the person well.  Sometimes it is quite challenging to portray someone I don´t know. There is already a lot of information in a human face (expression, pose, features, gestures …). In this post I would like to share with you a portrait of a male model who I haven´t met before.

The model was illuminated with a yellowish artificial light coming strongly from the left side. The right part of the face was in dark shadow which I believe creates more interest and depth.  (I cannot publish photo of the model. But you have an idea of my working conditions from this unfocused photo).

portrét I

I started with a linear drawing to find “where things are”.


Getting facial colours right may be tricky. I find it very useful to put some background colours first. This enable me to see how my facial colours work against the background.

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I could see many warm colours on the illuminated part of the face – especially many yellows, pinkies and oranges. The shadows were cooler with some bluish and purplish colours. I could even see some green on the neck.

Portrait of a Man, oil on board, © 2014 Petra Terslova 

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