Books on portraiture aren’t exactly thick on the ground and any new one is always welcome.
Capturing a likeness is one of the most difficult challenges for the artist. Quite apart from the technical matters of getting the image down, the shapes and proportions of the various elements of the body have to be just right, not only individually, but also in combination. Not only does the result have to look like a person, it also has to look like the person it’s meant to be. Everyone’s going to be your critic.
In only 64 pages, all you’re really going to get is an introduction but, as that’s what this book sets out to be, I’d have to say that Renate nails it pretty well perfectly. She’ll tell you enough about anatomy to set you going but not so much that it starts to feel like a medical textbook. She also deals with proportion and with the shapes of eyes, ears, noses and hair. Finally, there are exercises in pencil, charcoal and coloured chalk that illustrated male and female faces as well as babies and children.
There’s a lot here and the book should keep you occupied for a long time and leave you confidently proficient.