Learn To Paint Portraits With These 3 Tips

Have you ever wanted to pick up a paintbrush and create the most beautiful art, only to realize you don’t know how? 

Painting can be a great stress reliever and a wonderful skill to have, so why not give it a try? If you’re not sure where to begin, let us make a suggestion:

Try painting a portrait.

People love portraits and are more than willing to pay for them, so it’s a great skill to have that not only brings enjoyment but some cash flow as well.

Learning any new skill can be daunting, but we’re here to help you answer that question that’s probably nagging at the back of your brain: 

How do I learn to paint portraits?

Try Watching YouTube Tutorials

We live in an age where information is so easily accessible right at our fingertips. YouTube is a great start to learning any new skill. With a variety of teachers and techniques, you’re bound to find something that fits your learning style. 

Some tutorial videos are short and sweet and get right to the point. Others take more time to go into detail about certain aspects of portrait painting. 

Whatever your learning and painting style is, there’s something out there for you. We recommend starting off simple with beginner videos so as to not get overwhelmed by all the new material. 

Finding a video that has a series of ‘How-Tos’ can be helpful in building your skillset. Doing so keeps you with a consistent instructor and style, allowing you to perfect your skills before moving onto something different.

The best thing about YouTube tutorials?

They’re free! You don’t have to pay a dime to use them.

Register for Some Classes

If you’re committed and willing to fork out some cash to learn to paint portraits, then a class will be well worth your while. 

Having a class instructor can be really helpful if you’re struggling with a certain aspect of portrait painting, they’ll be able to help you learn the correct technique needed to execute the perfect portrait.

Classes are a great way to have access to tools you wouldn’t have otherwise at home. Most classes provide all the painting tools you could imagine, allowing you to practice different skill sets and techniques. 

Having other students in the class can be helpful, too. Chatting with them about how they approach certain paintings could contribute to your arsenal of knowledge. Not to mention, you get to meet other great artists like yourself!

You can typically find classes at your local community or recreation center (especially during the Summer). That would be a great place to start when looking for formal learning opportunities.

If you happen to live in a college town, you could contact the school art teacher and ask to audit an art class. You wouldn’t have to pay for it, the only thing you’d have to purchase is your own materials.

One other way that’s great when trying new things is Airbnb Experiences. Most people are aware that Airbnb is used to rent out a room or house for a few nights. But did you know that you can also pay to enjoy experiences guided by experts?

There are multiple different painting experiences you can sign up for all around the world. You can easily find one near you and give it a try. This is the perfect way to learn if you really like painting or not, and you get full access to an expert in the field.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Practice makes perfect. Practicing a new skill is the only way you’re going to master it.

But here’s the secret to practicing:

Practicing something in large, long chunks has been shown to be less effective than having short practice sessions spaced out over time.

This helps not only with committing certain skills to memory, but it also keeps you from getting frustrated while learning a new skill. Far too often, people quit when they’re learning something because they get overwhelmed or feel that they aren’t capable. 

But if you change the way you approach learning a new skill, it could be more enjoyable and you’re more likely to remember everything you learned.

If you’re really wanting to commit, make a schedule for yourself. Set aside time where you plan to paint for one hour each day. Once that hour is up, you’re done. Then, come back to it later in the day or even the next day and work for an hour or two. 

Whatever you do, don’t burn yourself out before allowing your skills to blossom into something amazing. 

The best way to practice portrait paintings is by starting with yourself. Grab a mirror, pencil, and paper and start drawing what you see. This can be tricky at first, but trust us, it’s much easier to stare at yourself and make mistakes in the beginning rather than a person that has to sit there for a few hours while you figure things out.

Once you’ve grown confident in your drawing and painting skills, feel free to ask friends or family to pose for you so you can practice other facial features besides your own. 

If that still feels a little uncomfortable, you could always ask to snap a photo of someone and draw a portrait from that photo. 

Put Your Skills To Use

Once you finally feel confident with your portrait painting skills you can start charging money for your beautiful paintings. This is a great way to earn some money while doing something that you love. A great place to start is Instapainting. Instapainting connects artists with those looking for a portrait to be done.

Here’s how it works: 

  • Customers send in a photo they wish to have done as a painting. 
  • We connect you, the artist, with a customer project.
  • You create the artwork in a given time frame and send it off to the customer. 
  • You get paid. Easy as that!

Why not give it a try? First, learn to paint portraits, then get paid to do what you love while making other people happy!

Join the Artists Collective at Instapainting today!