Portraits have been around since very early times, although not necessarily as we’re used to seeing them now – think about stone age cave paintings or the art of ancient Egypt.

There are two main definitions of portraiture:

• A likeness of an individual, especially of the face, provided or captured through painting, drawing or photography.

• A verbal or written description of a person describing not just their physical features but their character, nature and preferences.

These definitions can be applied to both real and imaginary forms.

Furthermore a portrait doesn’t always have a person in it; the ‘likeness’ may be established through objects or values that epitomise that individual to those around them.

Project: The basics of portraiture

Exercise: Draw a portrait

Exercise: A self-portrait

Exercise: The Nightwatch

Exercise: Outdoor portraits

 Project: Portraits without people

Project: Commercial portrait photography

Exercise: A studio portrait

Project: Hollywood portraits

Exercise: The Hollywood portrait

Project: The Swinging sixties

Exercise: Jack Nicholson

Project: Outside the Studio


Swinging Sixties

David Bailey

Terence Donovan

Brian Duffy

Norman Parkinson

Angus McBean

Johyn French

Cecil Beaton


Sally Mann

Nan Goldin

Michael Birt   http://www.michael-birt.com
Paul Floyd Blake  http://www.floydphotography.co.uk
Harry Hook  http://www.albertstudiogallery.com/artists/hhook
Oli Kellett  http://www.olikellett.com
David Lachapelle  http://www.davidlachapelle.com
Panayiotis Lamprou  http://www.panayiotislamprou.com
Ali Lomas    http://www.alilomas.co.uk
Joe McGorty  http://joemcgorty.com
Kelvin Murray http://kelvinmurray.com
Jeffrey Stockbridge http://www.jeffreystockbridge.com
James Stroud http://www.stroud-photo.com
Thomas Struth http://thomasstruth25.com
Mario Testino http://www.mariotestino.com
Wang Wei http://www.wangwei.co.uk
Annabel Williams http://www.annabelwilliams.com