Tips for shooting portraits of the female face
As a portrait artist I am always looking to find out how people are different. For example, how do young women differ from men? Are there certain facial features more common to one sex than another? How would I go about capturing this difference in a portrait?
Women’s faces vary enormously in character from woman to woman, but also from one age group to another. The face changes as we grow older and our facial expressions alter. So, when I look to capture a likeness of my female clientele, I try to study them closely to observe their unique expressions. This is particularly true of young women, for whom I make a series of facial portraits to capture their developing style and character.
Young women are usually quite open about themselves and are happy to discuss their thoughts and feelings in relation to their looks and appearances. So, by observing them carefully, I can see if they are wearing make-up or have a hairstyle that suits them. I can also ask them to tell me about themselves, what interests them, and what they think about their appearance.
I also pay attention to the way they carry themselves. There is a difference between someone who is confident in their appearance and someone who is shy and unsure about themselves. My female clients usually know how they look and, while I never tell them what to wear, they sometimes have something that makes them stand out, which helps me in the drawing process. I also look at the color and texture of their skin. It is important to note these things if you want to create a portrait that shows a true likeness.
Finally, I look at the way they move. For example, someone who is very animated and lively may stand out from someone who is reserved and thoughtful. This may affect the way you draw their features and how you set them against the background.
In the case of a teenage girl, the main things to look out for are:
1. Facial expressions
Young girls are often happy, confident and playful. They are also interested in fashion, which means that they tend to wear make-up and accessories that reflect this. So, for example, if the girl has an interest in horses, she will wear a horsehair bracelet or a ribbon in her hair.
Girls are often concerned about their hairstyles and will spend time thinking about what looks good on them. Often, they will have several hairstyles, each of which represents a different mood and a different period of their life. They may even change their hairstyle on a daily basis.
Young girls often like bright colors and use lots of make-up, which adds to their personality and makes them stand out.
Girls’ eyes are often their best feature. They are usually wide-set and blue, but other colors are also popular.
Young girls’ skin is usually fair. It is the one part of their body that doesn’t change much over time.
6. Body language
Girls may be shy and withdrawn in front of people they don’t know, but they are often outgoing when they are with their friends.
Young girls often like to dress in a certain way, which reflects their personalities. Some like to experiment with make-up and accessories, while others will wear a simple pair of jeans and a T-shirt.
8. Tone of voice
Girls’ voices are generally low and soft. They often speak in short sentences and their speech is more conversational than that of boys.
It’s important to understand that, when a girl is talking to you, she will not be using all the words in her vocabulary. She will be concentrating on getting across a particular message, which may mean that you have to wait a little longer for her to finish.
If you want to achieve a true likeness in a portrait, you should always take the time to observe your client thoroughly and get to know them well. If you take the time to talk to them, they will be more comfortable with you and will open up to you. You will then be able to draw them more accurately, making your work much more accurate.