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What are Portrait Paintings?

Portrait painting is a genre in painting which aims at portraying a human subject. Portrait paintings are valuable and convincing when they disclose to us something about the individual. A well-executed portrait painting isn't only a visual portrayal of a man; it intends to say something about the substance of the subject. What the representation uncovers may not be totally self-evident. It can be suggested through a specific expression or thing, or the hues used in the artwork.

Artists may attempt to achieve a result as realistic as possible or an impressionistic similarity in portraying their subject. The eyes and eyebrows create a greater part of the facial expression. An art portrait can depict the subject full length, half length, head and shoulders - also called a bust, or head, as well as in profile, three-quarter view, or full face, with varying directions of light and shadow. They can be created in various media including oils, watercolor, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, and mixed media.

What are Figurative Paintings?

Artwork in which portrayals take reference of scenes, objects of the real world can be classified as figurative painting. The term ‘figurative painting’ was used to describe art especially since the arrival of abstract art. Figurative artwork distinguishes itself from modern abstract art which rarely depicts distinctive objects from the real world. In a way, figurative art is opposite of abstract.

Contemporary figurative art may involve use of human subjects, and the artist may often take the liberty of giving the artwork his or her own touch by altering or exaggerating the features. In fact, this is what differentiates figurative paintings representing human subjects, from portrait paintings, which are closer to reality.

Portrait and Figurative Paintings as Wall Art

Portrait art depicts emotion of the subject and figurative art conveys a mood, which is why both these forms of art are capable of evoking strong emotions in an individual. Portrait paintings of iconic figures, or a known subject, may hold sentimental value, and a family portrait painting is a priceless piece of legacy. Portraitures of unknown faces are usually picked up for the skill of artistry and the expressions or facial features, they depict. Contemporary figurative paintings are great for adding a pop of colour or a strong character to a nude décor. Artoreal has an enticing range of portrait and figurative paintings to choose from, great to complement contemporary as well as traditional home décor.