Tag Archives: step by step

Plunging into Pastels

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Vivid red hair.

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Then a flower.

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And another Ball.

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Finally it was time to do a full portrait. I choose a picture of my son that I love.

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I began with a vine charcoal outline

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I sprayed it with a workable fixative before adding color.

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Quickly added some basic “flesh tones”, pinks and sienna. With dark reddish browns for the shadows and the darker hair tones.

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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.

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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.

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I also need to work on my backgrounds and clothing.

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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.

Keep Drawing!

Pastels used in this portrait:

Kate Middleton (with video)

Hello again! A new day, a new drawing, a new video. Things really fell in place for this drawing I had a lot of fun doing it and didn’t feel the struggle I had felt in the past few drawings I did. I don’t know exactly what it was, but things just worked out on this one. Towards the end of this drawing I needed my compressed white chalk to do the veil and shoulders, but I could not, for the life of me, find it. I looked everywhere, 3 times, and even took a trip to my storage unit. Finally, this morning, I decided to look in my art supply drawer, just one more time and lo and behold, there they were, tucked in a bag of charcoal pencils. I think that extra time gave me the courage to tackle that lace top on the dress and add in the flower details. Or at least a hint of them. I love the result.

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Please enjoy the time lapse video.


Keep Drawing!

Materials Used:

Anne and Gilbert: Completed

Finished! Honestly, I lost motivation towards the end there, that’s why the clothing is pretty minimal. I was worried half way through that this wouldn’t turn out at all. Even though I’m not 100% happy with it, I’m happy with how it turned out. This is because the source picture was not the greatest quality when it came to lighting and clarity. But it’s done! On to other things!

The reason why I drew this picture was because of the sad sad news of Jonathan Crombie’s death. I learned about it at a bad time. I had been rereading the “Anne of Green Gables” book. I had just finished it and, *spoiler alert*, if you read the book or seen the movie, you know the 2nd to last chapter was when Matthew dies. I had cried reading it (seriously, it gets me every time), and then like 2 hours later, I saw the news of Crombie dying, and it really felt like Gilbert has just died! Right in the feels! It was a lot to take in one afternoon.


11×14 bristol paper. HB-6B graphite pencil. Approx. 12- 14 hours.

Keep Drawing!

Anne and Gilbert: Part 7

This is the last update, next will be the finished drawing. This time I completed the hair. Obviously, Gilbert’s hair was easiest here. Anne’s was a little more work. I still might go back to the hair to texture it a little more. I’m working on the clothing now, and always go over details all over the drawing to finish it off. Stay tuned!


Anne and Gilbert: Part 6

I’m back! After a few busy days out of town, I was able to draw yesterday. This time I “completed” the mouths, cheeks, chins, and Gilbert’s ears. I’m having to be careful right now since the skin can start to look a little dirty the more I try to fix things. Next I’m going to draw the hair. I also need to decide how much detail I’ll be putting into the clothing. Anne is wearing a lace dress. If you’ve been here a while you know, I don’t like lace!

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Keep Drawing!

Anne and Gilbert: Part 5

When I started this drawing at the beginning of the week, I thought I’d be done by now. This time I began working on the foreheads, noses, and the other eyes. It’s not looking the way I had hoped it would at this point, but I’m having to remind myself, I’m not even half way done. The lighting in the source picture is slightly flat, since it’s outdoors, so I’m constantly squinting at the picture and drawing so I can be sure to get much as contrast as possible. Did you know squinting is a great way to better see where the lights and darks are? I learned it from the online course I took, and it’s made a big difference.

This will also be my last update for this week. I won’t be able to work on the drawing again until Sunday night or, knowing me, maybe even Monday. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Photo Apr 30, 2 13 35 PMKeep Drawing!

This Couple: Part 3

Here is step three of this drawing. Basically, everything is all laid out and ready to begin laying in some tones or shadows. This goes through a lot of checking and little adjustments. At this point, I always want to be sure that the subjects are somewhat recognizable before moving on. By the way, this is Anne and Gilbert of the “Anne of Green Gables” movie series.


New and Improved…

Tom Hanks! It was an easy choice to redo the drawing I did back in December. I didn’t mind how it turned out then but I also knew it could be better. I went through the online course I took, and mentioned in my last post, step by step, and really took my time making sure this turns out. Here is the result!

Here’s the steps taken (kind of).

I started with the basic layout. I actually did this drawing with the way you learn in most basic drawing classes, with lines and circles. The instructor explained it so simply, a light bulb went on in my head and I finally was able to use this method successfully.  Next was adding shadow shapes and the actual features and final checking over and over again to make sure everything was in it’s proper place.Photo Apr 12, 9 52 24 AM 

 Next was what’s called “Keying the Drawing” to get the contrast I wanted. I started with the eyes.  Then I moved on to the forehead, than the nose. The instructor called this “modeling the form” which is pretty helpful in remembering to make the shapes on the face more defined.Next, the mouth and chin.    On to the ear, cheek and hair. Then finished off with the neck and the collar of the jacket.Photo Apr 19, 11 10 16 AM

 I’m going to be bold and say the improvement is awesome! It took me about 10-12 hours to do. Significantly longer than the original 2 1/2 hours. I knew taking my time makes a big difference.  Proportions are much better and the facial features are better placed and angled. What do you think?