Portrait Painting Expert Answers – Tricia Reichert

Title: Portrait Painting Expert Answers to the Questions Every Artist Asks

Author: Tricia Reichert

Publisher: Quantum Publishing

Year: 2013

Pages: 224

Available at: Amazon 

About the Artist

Tricia Reichert was a highly regarded high school teacher in the UK, then she went to the US in 1978. Tricia has studied and practised painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture for the past 25 years. She is an expert on portraiture, animals and people, she is also interested in figurative sculpture and printmaking. Now, she is an art teacher and also a professional portrait painter. She works in various art mediums such as oil acrylic, watercolour, gouache, printmaking and clay sculpture.

Book Description

This book includes 200 questions and answers on topics related to portraiture. Topics vary widely and range from different materials, painting and drawing mediums, anatomy of the face, skin tones, techniques, composition, backgrounds, values etc. These questions are all answered by experts with straightforward and easy to understand answers to help you build confidence and develop your skills to a higher level as a portrait artist.

This book includes:

  • Detailed step-by-step photos and illustrations to demonstrate and help explain different techniques and effects by established artists, providing you with answers to questions that you will have when learning portraiture. Great for both beginners and more experienced painters.
  • Reliable and valuable tips and advice from an expert on various aspects of the art of portrait drawing and painting.
  • Tips and techniques are presented in a way that can be easily referenced, creating a book for studying portrait drawing and painting that you can quickly look back at with specific questions.
  • Chapters include composition; understanding anatomy and how to portray character; painting clothing; using oils, acrylics, pencils and charcoal; and mastering techniques.
  • All you need to know to create successful portrait paintings



A short introduction of portrait painting and drawing.

Chapter 1: Proportions, Character, and Likeness

Talks about various subjects such as the importance of understanding anatomy, proportions, composition, achieving a likeness of the sitter, expressions and more.

Chapter 2: Light and Shadow

Explains the different terminologies of light and shadow such as chiaroscuro, cast shadow, form shadow, halftone, highlights, how to set up lighting for your settings, values etc.

Chapter 3: Backgrounds and Composition

Goes into more depth on how you can decide on a good composition for your portrait painting/ drawing. Talks about positive and negative shapes in a composition, the golden ratio, realism vs abstract painting, different types of composition, storying telling with your composition and more.

Chapter 4: Skin Tones and Color Mixing

Teaches you techniques like glazing, optical mixing etc and tips on getting the right skin tones for your portrait, different properties that you need to take note of to produce a suitable colour combination for your situation, such as warm and cool tone, the skin tone of your subject. Also shows you how to use coloured pencils, watercolours or pastels to paint skin tones.

Chapter 5: Facial Features and Hair

This chapter not only talks about how to draw and paint the facial features, but it also teaches you the placement of the features so the face you’re painting looks proportional and dimensional. More topics like painting in glasses or painting hair are mentioned as well in this chapter.

Chapter 6: Clothing and Hats

Talks about how clothing can affect the composition of your painting. Some tips on how to paint clothing, different fabrics and folds. How accessories like hats and head covering can help with the composition of your painting.

Chapter 7: Drawing and Sketching

This chapter focuses on drawing and sketching portraits. It talks about some sketching techniques such as hatching, stippling, blending etc. It also talks about some factors that can affect your portrait drawing or sketching process such as the colour or tone of the paper. Show you some step by step process of using different mediums like ink, coloured pencils, Conte crayons.

Chapter 8: Oil and Acrylic

This chapter focuses on portrait paintings using oils and acrylics. You will be introduced to some techniques and terms such as the fat over lean rule for oil painting, impasto, scumbling, blending, glazing and more. It teaches you how to use acrylics and oils to complete a painting, painting and blending skin tones etc.

Chapter 9: Pastel, Watercolor and Gouache

This chapter is about portrait paintings using pastel, watercolours and gouache. For pastels, you will learn it’s properties, how to find the right support, how to blend and mix pastels. You will also learn the difference between watercolour and gouache, their properties, some techniques to produce different results like textures and skin tones.

Chapter 10: Exploring Styles

Introduces you to painting styles, formats, caricature, imaginary portraits and how to develop a personal style.

My Review

I have been into portrait paintings/ drawings for a long time. I’ve done portraits in pencils, watercolours and digitally. I’ve always wanted to paint portraits with oils but I just don’t feel confident enough to do so. Reading through this book has given me motivation and some tips for painting portraits in oils. It’s given me a good refresher on some portrait knowledge that I’ve forgotten and taught me new ideas too. I’ve learnt from the optical illusion technique which uses 2 coloured pencils to create a new colour. Most of the questions in this book are very relatable to me as I’ve probably encountered them when I just started learning portraiture. I think this book is good for beginners trying to learn drawing or painting portraits as it contains lots of questions that a beginner may ask when learning. It’s also a good book for more experienced artist to refresh their knowledge or if they’re trying to learn painting portraits in a different medium.

Interested in the book? Click here to get it now!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this book review. If you are interested in purchasing this book please click here. When you purchase a book through the affiliate links I’ve provided, I get a small commission( at no extra cost to you!) which help me keep writing reviews like this one.

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