• Depictions that focus on a single character or a particular group of characters posed together
Portraiture seeks to capture the essential identity of each character that is shown. Among other variations, portraits can be head studies, head and shoulders, head/shoulders/hands, or full body. With the focus on the character(s), any objects or settings shown in the painting/drawing might be seen as symbolic of the character(s) or perhaps providing context for the character(s).
A subject for portraiture might be chosen by the artist due to any number of emotions or situations – love, admiration, hatred, infatuation, friendship, family relationship, a commission from a patron, a random encounter, or an artist might create a project for which anyone is welcome to pose.
Portraiture generally reflects an interest in human character, but artists might also choose this genre as a vehicle for aesthetic expression, emphasizing abstraction, mark making, distortions, and/or palette exploration.
Featured above: Self-Portrait
by Vincent Van Gogh.