In a sense, every work you do is a self-portrait because your paintings always reveal more about you than about your subject. Your experience of something, not the something itself, is the true underlying subject of every work you do.
It's not the act of arrogance to draw, it's humbling - you must use your God-given talent. And of all the people I sketch, in most cases I feel I have to measure up to the subject.
Every single person is unlike anyone else. Therefore, in creating a portrait of someone... we must look carefully to catch that particular unique quality. In fact, we can neglect nothing because everything we select or do sends a message to the observer.
When one starts from a portrait and seeks by successive eliminations to find pure form... one inevitably ends up with an egg.
Make portraits of people in typical, familiar poses, being sure above all to give their faces the same kind of expression as their bodies.
Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people - the point where we go inside them - is the face. It tells all.
If a figure doesn't look back at you, you forget it.
The person portrayed and the portrait are two entirely different things.
With an 'advanced' artist, it's not now possible to make a portrait.
Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Gesture, grimace, clothing, decor even - all must combine to realize a character.
A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.
One is never satisfied with the portrait of a person that one knows.
It is for the artist... in portrait painting to put on canvas something more than the face the model wears for that one day; to paint the man, in short, as well as his features.
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.
It is bad enough to be condemned to drag around this image in which nature has imprisoned me. Why should I consent to the perpetuation of the image of this image?
my sitters get tired waiting for commissioned portraits. If they commission me they have to wait years sometimes because I discard so many.
I always work directly from life, partly because I really enjoy having an interaction with the person in front of me but also because I love having a direct response to shape and color.
Painting someone's portrait is, of course, an impossible task. What an absurd idea to try and distil a human being, the most complex organism on the planet, into flicks, washes, and blobs of paint on a two-dimensional surface.
I try to paint from life, but I had such a miserable experience with Bonaparte, who wouldn't sit still and kept mumbling about catching a cold and something incoherent about Wellington , so I finally decided to work from photos.
Listen: if I am a painter and I do your portrait, have I or haven't I the right to paint you as I want?
Everything I paint is a portrait, whatever the subject.
I shall praise those faces which seem to project out of the picture as though they were sculptured, and I shall censure those faces in which I see no art but that of outline.
To get someone to pose, you have to be very good friends and above all speak the language.
An act of naming should quite rightly enable me to call any-thing a self-portrait, not only any drawing, 'portrait' or not, but everything that happens to me, that I can affect, or that affects me.
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