Abstract Woman Portrait: Acrylic Painting Tutorial For Beginners

Abstract Woman Portrait: Acrylic Painting Tutorial For Beginners

Have you ever marveled at the captivating portraits by Picasso or Modigliani and wished to create something as stirring? In honor of International Women's Day, we've crafted an inspiring tutorial to guide beginner and intermediate artists through the creation of a stunning acrylic Abstract Woman Portrait.
This piece isn't just a tribute to the beauty and strength of women worldwide; it's also a modern, stylish addition to any interior. Whether you're a budding artist or looking to brush up on your skills, this easy step-by-step guide, featuring Benicci's premium Paint Brush Set of 40 and Acrylic Paint Set of 24 Colors, will unlock your artistic potential and add a splash of color to your world. So, let's start!

🧑‍🎨 Level: Intermediate
🕑 Estimated time: 1 hour

Materials needed:


Step 1: Sketch the Drawing with Tracing Paper


Prepare a sketch of a woman's portrait on plain paper. You may draw it yourself using a portrait from our tutorial, find inspiration from a woman in your life, or create a self-portrait. If you are a beginner artist and not very confident in drawing human faces, feel free to print a photo or image from the internet. Although we encourage you to try drawing it yourself, using a printer is a common method for transferring images onto paintings.

Lay tracing paper (or kitchen parchment) over your pencil drawing and trace the main outlines of the portrait with a pen.

☝️Useful Info: This tracing paper, a thin transparent paper of low density, is perfect for manually copying drawings and fostering artistic creativity due to its excellent transparency.


Step 2: Transferring the Drawing

Start by preparing the canvas. Take a canvas or thick paper of any size and frame it with masking tape. This tape around the canvas's perimeter ensures a neat finish.

Flip the tracing paper to its back side and shade all the portrait's outlined areas with a thick graphite pencil. Use short, bold strokes and light pressure to facilitate easy transfer to the canvas without leaving prominent pencil marks.

Begin transferring the portrait onto the canvas using the tracing paper technique. Position the tracing paper with the penciled side facing down against the canvas. You may temporarily secure the tracing paper with masking tape.

Trace over the portrait lines with moderate pressure using a regular pencil, transferring the main composition onto the canvas without additional marks. This method is especially beneficial for beginner artists to set up a painting for coloring.


Step 3: Painting the Background and Silhouette

Now it's time to add color to your artwork! Select Benicci's Acrylic Paints and prepare a palette for color mixing. Choose a color scheme that appeals to you or use the same colors as our tutorial. We've chosen primarily cooler colors such as Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Gray, and Burnt Sienna, accented with warm, vivid tones like Raw Sienna, Mid Yellow mixed with Vermillion, and Fresh Tint blended with Scarlet and White.

Paint the background around the portrait figure with a single tone of blue using a medium-sized brush from Benicci's Paint Brush Set of 40. Paint carefully around the hair edges for a defined silhouette.

Outline the hair's color areas with broad strokes. Apply gray to the right side of the hair, and for the left side, mix gray with cyan, blue, or emerald green. Dye each large hair strand a different color, adhering to the principle: the closer to the face, the lighter the shade. This technique adds depth and texture to the hair, enhancing the abstract quality of the piece.


Some inspiration

This portrait employs an expressive and stylized technique. It eschews classical realism for an abstract, schematic representation. The use of large color blocks and contrasting strokes defines the portrait's form, lending dynamism and a contemporary feel suitable for modern interiors—a universally appealing gift idea, right? Moreover, this technique is an excellent practice for beginners to understand how light and shadow are represented through color.

The interplay of cool and warm colors offers striking visual contrast. The artwork also features line work that delineates the face and hair contours, imparting structure and volume. The style evokes Cubism with its geometric shape interpretations and facial feature treatment and Expressionism with its emotional impact and color vibrancy.

☝️Quick Tip: Draw inspiration from the way famous neo-expressionists like Pablo Picasso during his Cubist phase—exemplified in "Girl Before a Mirror" (1932)—deconstructed objects into geometric forms and color blocks. Consider Amedeo Modigliani's "Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne" (1918), which, despite being more linear and less geometric than Cubism, showcases significant stylization.


Step 4: Painting the Face

Taking cues from illustrious masters, paint the woman's face with boldness and creativity. Start with the right side of the face. Use bright orange for the shadowed side of the face, applying lighter shades like peach to prominent areas to simulate light. In shadowed regions, apply cool blue-gray. This contrast will help to sculpt depth in the portrait.

For the eyes and eyebrows, choose subdued blues and grays, painting these features schematically in a few strokes to contribute to the work's abstract style. Accentuate the iris with small white dots.

Paint the face's left side, the ears, and the chin with beige and brown tones. Then, with contrasting orange, schematically outline these facial elements. Use cool blue-gray to emphasize the shadow and half-shadow on the lower part of the chin.



Step 5: Hair Detailing

Add detail to the hair by inserting thin strands in blue-gray. Introduce orange strands to tie the overall composition together, coordinating with other elements of the same color.



Carefully remove the masking tape from the canvas's perimeter, and behold—a vivid and fashionable abstract female portrait, framed neatly, is your creation.

This artwork not only celebrates International Women’s Day but also showcases your burgeoning talent as an artist.

At Benicci, we believe in the power of art to express and inspire. Our carefully curated Paint Brush Sets and Acrylic Paint Sets were designed to empower your creativity, ensuring every stroke and color brings your vision to life. We encourage you to watch our video tutorial for more insights and tips on creating this portrait.

Embrace your artistic journey with Benicci—where every color tells a story, and every brushstroke brings emotion to life. Happy painting, and happy International Women's Day!


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