Each of us is an artist, capable of conceiving and creating a vision from the depths of our being.
I came across a sketch that I did of my sister a couple of years ago that I later turned into a drawing. The back of the head is rather flat in this drawing, one of the reasons it never made it past the drawing table.
I try to be realistic in my portraits and also flatter the individual as much as possible but I don't know if I always succeed. Then again, the perception we have of ourselves is always different than how others see us.
A friend of mine years ago was a wonderful portrait painter and he loathed two types: middle aged women who still thought mentally that they were 20 and young girls who weren't attractive, but who were so in the eyes of their mothers. Roger was a realistic painter and a good one and he hated to compromise just to soothe someone's ego or flatter unrealistically.
It is difficult to find that easy balance of flattery and realism. There will always be tweaks and adjustments either requested by the sitter or seen through the eyes of the artist. Its a lifelong journey of discovery.