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Thread: Pastel portrait help
August 23rd, 2014 #1
Pastel portrait help
Although I have been drawing portraits for a while now (check sketchbook for examples), I have rarely done them in colour. This is my second attempt at a pastel portrait and it is a work in progress.
My color knowledge is limited and I'm not very used to this painterly approach, so even my values are a bit off cause I got to caught up in selecting the right hues.
I think the flesh tone is not working and I really need some advice on how I can improve this. Any other critique (ex. anatomy) would also be very useful!
Thank you in advance!
EDIT: I posted the final version first here. Well, donno if it looks finished, but I'd like to keep it painterly, so some parts are not smoothed out. But despite that part, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
Last edited by Aubergine; September 4th, 2014 at 08:41 AM.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberAugust 23rd, 2014 #2Registered User
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It looks pretty good to me--basically, you just need to have the stamina to keep working it until the whole thing reaches the state of finish that the facial features are at right now. Take a few hours and really focus on rendering the "boring" parts--ear, hair, neck, dress, and the subtle forms of the cheeks and forehead. The color, I think, is working fairly well at this point and I would keep the same basic palette you've got now.
August 24th, 2014 #3
Thank you very much for the encouragement I just read the stickied thread about not posting wips, so sorry about this. I didn't want to take it forward cause I felt something is wrong but couldn't figure out what. Even though the flesh tone doesn't look too well for me, I will finish this and repost it!
August 24th, 2014 #4
I am not sure if it can help you, but I always starting by paiting the darkest areas first, to get the more dark shade I can and to use it as a reference to work from the light colours to the dark ones. To work with the brighten areas, I use a matte spray varnish to not mix colours.
August 27th, 2014 #5
Looks like the blue is too strong in the face. Are you sure you aren't really seeing a grayer value? A lot of mixing happens on the paper itself in pastels - soften up those blues with a couple passes of more 'fleshy' colors. Maybe a nice goldish color... I think you could use a few more warm midtones.
One thing to remember with pastels is that they have a very distinct ugly stage before they come together, so don't get discouraged if things start to look sketchy or too bold. This stage often involves putting down splotches of many colors before blending them together and refining, because no pastel stick is ever quite the right color. It will probably take a few paintings of trial and error before you start to sense how pastels progress, and when's the best time to apply __ color, etc.
You've got a good start here, and looks like your drawing and painting skills are already solid, so I think it's mostly just a matter of getting used to the pastels. Keep at it!
August 28th, 2014 #6
I very much appreciate the feedback, its already looking better! The work is still in progress though..
@pauloricardo: I started by separating the lights and shadows, but it all got mixed along the way when I added the colors. I think I didn't use the right values and now the form is not so obvious as in the begining. Thanks for the idea with the spray! I do have issues with placing lighter colors now cause they get mixed..
@Dahlia: You are right, but its more grayish in reality, I think the camera modified the colors a bit. Anyway, it still pops too much. I tried adding warmer colors, but I will have to remove some of this cause it mixed a lot and it looks a little muddy.
I actually like the stage when they look a bit sketchy, but the colors need to work together a bit better. I'm aiming for a more "painterly" feel to it, rather then a finely detailed rendering. But yes, as I am quite new to it, I haven't yet figured out how they work, so it will take a couple of tries. Thank you for your insight!
September 4th, 2014 #7
Posted finished version up there!
September 5th, 2014 #8
good result, will we see a new one?
September 5th, 2014 #9
Thank you and yes, of course you will, though it will probably be in my sketchbook, unless I will really need some critique