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Article: Portraiture The Art of Portraiture

The Art of Portraiture

The Art of Portraiture

The Art of Portraiture




For centuries man has sought to capture the likeness of others in painting. In some periods of history the portrait was used as a means of denoting status and wealth, and was the preserve of the rich and powerful. Later, portraiture was opened up to a wider audience of the middle classes and merchants. It is still used by organizations and governments as the highest form of accolade and And now, through the medium of photography, portraiture is available to almost anyone.


Sign Of The Times

Throughout history there has been esteem attached to the portrait, probably because of its association with the aristocracy, royalty and the very wealthy. The aristocracy would often have portraits painted of themselves in uniform, or on in their robes to show their status in life, and also to promote a sense of bloodline, by having the weight of generations gazing down upon the present generation. They would commission portraits not just of themselves, but of their children, dogs and horses. They might have their mistress painted on a loveseat recliner, or holding flowers, which held special meaning to them.

Royal portraits are known to all, and it is only through them that we have any idea what Henry VIII looked like, or Elizabeth I. How would we imagine Shakespeare if we did not have a portrait of him? Portraits, like any picture, are worth a thousand words.


Techniques change

In the past having your portrait painted was quite an ordeal. The subject would have to stand still in one position for many hours while the painter worked. It must have been so uncomfortable and tiring. These days, even top portrait artists do not require this sort of endurance of their subjects. Many people who commission portraits are busy people, and could simply not spare the time to stand waiting for a picture to be painted.

With the invention of the camera came a chance for models to rest a little. Today, a top portrait painter will work partly from life and partly from photographs taken of the subject in position. Ever since the invention of the camera, artists have made use of photographs in their work. There are sites dedicated to showing the photographs that famous artists worked from. Some of the great Impressionists used to work from photos, as did Francis Bacon. It is a very effective means of capturing an image to work on before the perfect light fades.


Portraiture Is For Everyone

Thanks to the power of the camera it is possible for everyone to have a portrait of their loved ones, at a far lower cost than at any other time in history. And, just like royalty of the past, you don’t have to limit yourself to portraits of people. It’s lovely to have an oil or watercolor portrait of our children to remember them as they grow up and leave home, but what about your pets? Why not follow the kings and have a portrait painted of your beloved pet.  Our animals are as dear to us as our children in many ways, and yet sadly are with us for a much shorter stay. A painted portrait is the perfect way to immortalize your best furry friend, and feel like he or she are with you forever.


Weddings and Anniversaries are another favorite time for clients to commission a work from us. It is a great surprise present for any couple, young or old. You can choose from so many different mediums, from pastel, to oil, to professional sketches in black or colored pencil. If you prefer a watercolor or charcoal, we can accommodate this too, as well as offering different styles, such as Impressionist and Pop Art.

Some of our clients let their imaginations run wild. We love anything quirky, so ask for any special requests you may have. A portrait of your motorcycle, or a favorite landscape, or perhaps your house may be what you have always wanted. No problem. We can even combine a number of pets or items into one picture for you.  You could even have your dog sitting on your motorcycle! The sky’s the limit, and our turnaround time is hard to beat. You can have your personally commissioned portrait painting on your wall, from a photograph you supply, in just three to four weeks.

So why not live like a King, and commission a portrait from us today? Here at Anything Painted On Canvas we know you’ll be delighted with the results - so much so that we offer a 100% in home money back guarantee if you are not delighted with our artists’ work.