Drawing portraits is generally something that most people assume one must be born with a talent for. Sure there are those for whom portait drawing is a God-given talent, but everyone no matter what their ‘talent’ level must study and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to grow and develop as an artist.
My name is Michael Britton. As an artist and a teacher for many years I have taught both the ‘talented’ and those who have had to struggle for each and every step forward. Experience has repeatedly shown me that the fable of the Turtle and the Hare is often true. A sure and steady progression of learning will sooner or later surpass the ‘naturally talented’ who do not work on improving their skills.
As an art student, now this is going back a ways, I studied at pretty much every art school in New York City. Like most other art students I was constantly seeking that one teacher who would give me the ‘answer’ - the keys to portrait drawing heaven. Luckily I found the artist Francis Cunningham who, himself had been a student of Edwin Dickinson (1891 - 1978) 30 years earlier, who had, in turn, studied under William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) and Charles Hawthorne (1872-1930). Chase and Hawthorne founded the Chase School which became the New York School of Art. This is my lineage. Under Cunningham I was thoroughly taught the centuries-proven methodology and techniques of realist drawing in the same manner that he was taught by Dickinson, and he by Chase and Hawthorne.