What is portrait drawing

Portrait drawing - differentiation based on the image detail

As already described in a previous article, a portrait drawing is about the representation of one or more people. A distinction is made between different types of portrait drawing. There is a distinction on the basis of the person or persons shown, the distinction on the basis of the posture of the head and the subdivision on the basis of the image section shown.
At this point I would like to explain this type of differentiation to portrait drawings to you in more detail.

Differentiation of portrait drawings on the basis of the image detail

In the case of a portrait, the image section means the part that is drawn by the respective person. Most of the time, when you hear the term “portrait” you only think of the head or face of a person, but it is also possible to draw the whole person.

You can distinguish between portraits based on the detail of the image. The following modes of representation exist:

Full figure
In the full figure, the entire person is represented - from head to toe. The representation can be standing or sitting. In plastic design or sculpture, a statue is used here (as opposed to a bust).

In portrait painting, the knee is the representation of a figure including the knees. However, the drawing ends here below the knees. Here, too, the posture of the person drawn can be standing or sitting.

Hip image
In the hip picture you can draw the sitter up to the crotch.

Half figure
In the so-called half-figure, the person is drawn up to the waist. Often the arm is bent so that the hands can also be seen in the portrait.

In the case of the chest piece, only the majority of the upper body is shown. Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa, for example, is a chest piece.

Shoulder piece
The shoulder piece is what most people think of as a typical portrait drawing. Only the head with the shoulder base is shown. The representation ends at armpit level. In plastic design, this type of representation is also referred to as a bust.

Head image
The head image is also a particularly common form of representation in portrait painting. Only the head with the neck or a neck section is shown. The human body cannot be seen.