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: Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh.