Creating a portrait will always be one of the most difficult forms of painting and is never recommended for the faint-hearted artist or for any artist who is not confident in his or her ability.
To consider a portrait only as a 2 dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional subject is far from accurate because every person is different and the artist has to consider the dimensions of character, personality and personal nuances when creating the portrait.
Viewers of the portrait may know the subject, have read about them or have heard about them. They will almost certainly be critical of the artwork as they compare the image in their mind (of how they perceive the person) to the portrait that they see. The artist therefore has the daunting task of creating an image that is much more than just a picture.
More than a picture, a portrait is a living memory of substance captured through spiritual illumination in the lens of the eye! Marlene Dickerson
The setting, the pose, the medium and the ability of the artist all contribute to the artwork. While it is impossible to capture everything about a person on a canvas, the intention or the portrait is to bring back memories or to depict the subject in a way that viewers can create a private ‘story’ in their minds that relates to the person in the portrait.