Monday, October 13, 2014

A Small Pastel

I've been working on a small pastel piece. The paper is Pastelmat, 7 x 9.5 inches. I wanted to do a portrait using mostly pastel pencils, something to help me keep improving my freehand drawing skills.

I did the pencil drawing on a separate sheet of paper, then scanned it and then printed it out to get good contrasting lines. I then used my light box to transfer it to the Pastelmat. It was kind of tough to see the guide lines through the Pastelmat, since it's rather thick paper, but I was able to pick out enough to guide me.

A portrait tutorial DVD I recently bought served as an excellent refresher for me on capturing likenesses. The DVD is "Steps to a Likeness - Pastels" by Perri Sparks.

Using pencils is very different than using pastel sticks. For one thing I certainly feel more comfortable working at this small scale with pencils. Of course you lose a lot of the fluidity and painter-like quality that makes working with large pastels such a joy. It's a trade off I suppose.

I did go with a regular soft pastel stick to stroke in the background which gives it a nice airy touch. I'm not done with this one yet. I need to do some redrawing of the arms still and then draw in some color on the dress.

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