In its broad sense, a portrait is considered a work of art that renders a subject’s face with all its features. Its most popular forms are portrait painting and portrait photography. If you were to choose between these two things, what would you choose and why? If it were me who has to answer this question I would go with the painting, but this is just a subjective opinion and you are completely free to pick whatever form of art you want. This article conveys my views regarding the questions I asked in the first sentences.
Likeness, mood and character should all be displayed in a portrait. Be it a simple photo taken with a regular digital camera or a gorgeous painting, a portrait must render not only the physical traits of the sitter, but also a part of his inner essence as an individual. Now, please tell me how these crucial goals could be achieved with a simple piece of paper that absolutely (and I mean it) anyone in this world could create simply just by pushing a button? Do you think this product of digital technology can do what the hand of a truly talented painter can create? I would say: “Certainly not”, but this is just my belief.
On the other hand, an oil painting portrait can depict very tiny details of facial expressions and body posture, the most subtle shadows and they are all presented with creativity and using quality techniques. Moreover, there is the emotional dimension of the portrait. Could you honestly say that pressing a button on a black plastic box containing a couple of lens translates your emotions into that picture? No, you can’t. At least I can’t claim such a thing, but I can say that a painting could successfully show the artist’s commitment and feelings.
Although photography alone can’t be a masterpiece, when we use our imagination and combine it with special painting techniques the results are remarkable. Here is what I am trying to imply.
Suppose you took a photo of a landscape during your last trip. You can add value to that photo by turning it to painting. The process is simple and you are not even required to do it all by yourself. You can use technology to send the picture by email to specialized art studios. Their devoted artists will send you back an amazing landscape oil painting.
You can offer it as a gift or you can simply hang it on your living room wall thinking that you combined two forms of art into a true masterpiece.