Color has entered into my life, and I’m kind of obsessed already. I bought a set of soft pastels well over 1 year ago and never used them, but thought I would one day. Then I found two boxes of Nupastels on clearance one day. I think they were originally around $20-25 a box, but I got them for about $7 each. I couldn’t resist. So now I had 3 boxes of pastels. I think it was time to actually try them out.
To gain inspiration and with an invitation to go with my sister, I took a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum. I stopped at one of my favorite pieces in the place which has always blown me away because it’s a pastel piece.
The White Rose (Portrait of Miss Jessup) by William Merritt Chase
From 10 feet away it looks like a painting and I love it so much.
I watched some YouTube videos on pastel portrait drawing and how to use pastels and sat at the book store and skimmed a book on pastel portrait painting which was really useful.
I like to have a bit of knowledge about what I’m working with before playing.
I finally tried it out. I drew this ball and was pretty thrilled with it.
Vivid red hair.
Then a flower.
And another Ball.
Finally it was time to do a full portrait. I choose a picture of my son that I love.
I began with a vine charcoal outline
I sprayed it with a workable fixative before adding color.
Quickly added some basic “flesh tones”, pinks and sienna. With dark reddish browns for the shadows and the darker hair tones.
Added in some darker reds for the mid tones and blonde/yellow in the hair. And just used my finger to begin blending it in.
Added in eye color and trying to get the lip color right. At this point I also was getting frustrated since it looks nothing like my son. The mouth is off the eyes are off, and I’m pretty used to getting an accurate depiction in my drawings at this point, that I was unhappy. At the same time, I had to remind my self that I’m doing this drawing for practice with pastels, not likeness perfection, but I’ll try harder with that next time.
I also need to work on my backgrounds and clothing.
Here is the finished product, all blended in and smoothed out.
It’s done on 18x24in charcoal paper. It took approximately 3 hours to do. Which is amazing.
So overall, I’m proud of myself for completing my first full color portrait. It’s so exciting to think of the possibilities of what I can do with this.