Book Review: Drawing Portraits: A Practical Course for Artists

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If I'm not wrong, this 2018 edition book by Barrington Barber is the revised edition of The Fundamentals of Drawing Portraits which was published in 2016. The 2016 edition has 208 pages while the 2018 edition only has 160 pages. I used the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon and saw similar content. I'm not sure why the new edition is missing so many pages but the contents look similar. So maybe it's a case of Amazon listing the number of pages by mistake. If you have the earlier edition, do let me know if there are really 208 pages.

Drawing Portraits: A Practical Course for Artists is an accessible introductory guide to drawing portraits for beginners. It covers the basic fundamentals well by providing clear and concise instructions and visual examples. It talks about the different styles and techniques and also explains the why. This is great for understanding the techniques rather than just blindly copying what you see. When you understand what you're drawing, the concepts behind, it makes it easily to apply those techniques to other subject matter.

These are the chapters in the book:

  1. Introduction
  2. First Steps
  3. Styles and Techniques
  4. Composition
  5. Group and Family Portraits
  6. Life Through the Ages
  7. Dress
  8. Animals in Portraits
  9. Furniture and Props
  10. Symbolism
  11. Self-portraits
  12. Caricature

In addition to drawing techniques, the book also covers the different types of portraits. For example, it talks about the things you should look out for when drawing a family portrait, how to frame your subjects to get the best composition, what kind of poses are best, how to deal with background and context and more.

This is a pretty good book to start out with if you want to learn portrait drawing. The text is written in a straightforward manner that's engaging and interesting. I can recommend this easily to beginners.

If you need more books on portrait drawing, check out https://www.parkablogs.com/category/tags/portrait-drawing

Drawing Portraits is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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