Is portrait painting technique difficult?

The basics of oil painting are the same no matter what the subject matter and they go a long way, even with portrait painting. However, making portraits can be a little more tricky, particularly in getting a likeness, as this requires a good degree of observational drawing skill. Also, due to the intricate nature of faces, a certain level and delicacy of brush technique is needed and portraits may need to be built in more stages than most other paintings, depending on the style and level of realism one wishes to take the painting to.

The degree of skill for all of these things can be attained with sufficent practice.

The real challenge for many people is probably the level of patience required in building a portrait, particularly if layered. This is a discipline that must be sharpened gradually and also brought about through the realisation that more haste often does, as the old adage conveys, result in less speed.

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