This is a really cool 6 part acrylic portrait painting demonstration by artist ERIC T. FRANCIS. This portrait painting tutorial will teach you how to paint your very own portrait, start to finish, with the aid of a free software program called Gimp. If you don’t have this software, you can download it here.
Computer software can be a wonderful tool for artists. More and more artists are utilizing technology to make the painting process easier. There are certain settings within image editing software, that make it much easier to see the values within a photograph. For the untrained eye, recognizing different values within a portrait is very difficult and this software really helps!
How to Paint an Acrylic Portrait Part 1
Eric will show you the exact settings and features he uses within the Gimp software to produce his reference image. After he is happy with the picture, he prints it out and gets ready to paint!
Transferring the Image to the Canvas
In part 2 of this acrylic portrait painting tutorial, Eric will show you how he transfers the image he printed from the Gimp software, to his canvas. He turns over the printout and using a pencil, he covers the back of the image completely using a lot of pressure and making it as dark as possible. Then he places the image on the canvas and begins to trace it. Make sure you press hard and try not to move the paper. If you want, you can tape it into place so that it doesn’t move.
Begin to Paint
In part 3, Eric starts the layout process. When he created his image using the Gimp software, he used a feature known as “Posterizing” which enabled him to break up his image into 4 different values. So now he creates those four different values with his acrylic paint. He lays in his darks first and works his way up to his lightest values.
Adding More Layers
In part 4, Eric begins adding more layers to the painting making things more opaque. As he is painting, he refers to his printout to add things he may have overlooked.
After the paint has dried somewhat, Eric now begins the blending process of his painting.
In the last part of this acrylic portrait painting demonstration, Eric does some more blending, adds some highlights and adds some final touches.