Heightening

Heightening is a brightening technique often used in drawing which allows the artist to brighten and intensify the image to bring out important features and to give an illusion of light and depth. In chalk or pastel drawings and sketches Chinese white is often used to heighten a picture as it provides a good contrast.

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King George IV, by H. de Janvry, 1793 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

King George IV
by H. de Janvry
1793
NPG 1761

'Beeching Special'
by Sir David Low
circa 1962
NPG 5348

Mr Fox and his Friends, by William Lane, circa 1813 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Mr Fox and his Friends
by William Lane
circa 1813
NPG 2076

Edward Charles Grenfell, 1st Baron St Just, by Fred May, probably 1930s - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Charles Grenfell, 1st Baron St Just
by Fred May
probably 1930s
NPG D18479

Sir (William) Guy Granet, by Fred May, 1935 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir (William) Guy Granet
by Fred May
1935
NPG 6207

Frank Charlton; Thomas Rome, by Fred May, published 22 May 1935 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Frank Charlton; Thomas Rome
by Fred May
published 22 May 1935
NPG D7980

Geoffrey Palmer, by Stuart Pearson Wright, 2004-2005 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Geoffrey Palmer
by Stuart Pearson Wright
2004-2005
NPG 6755

Jeremy Irons, by Stuart Pearson Wright, 2005 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Jeremy Irons
by Stuart Pearson Wright
2005
NPG 6752

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