- Lesson Details
In this lesson, world-renowned pastel artist Ellen Eagle shares her personal pastel technique in-depth as she creates a portrait of a female. Every step of the process is captured–from the first initial marks to the last finishing touches.You will learn how Ellen lays in her painting, develops local areas of color, makes important color decisions, and maintains correct proportions to create a stunning work of art. We encourage you to try your own portrait painting and follow along with Ellen through each of the stages of her process.
- Prismacolor Nupastels – 96 Piece Set
- Rembrandt Soft Pastels
- Handheld Mirror
- Kneaded Eraser
- Hard Charcoal Stick
- Sanding Block
- Blending Stumps – Large and Medium
- Single Edge Razor Blades
- Homemade Pastel Board – Cold-Pressed Illustration Board Primed with Gesso and Pumice, Sanded and Toned with Grey Acrylic
Discuss this video in the forums!Discuss
You’ll be watching over my shoulder step-by-step as I go from the first strokes to the final.
This is the way I work at home in my studio, except that I work from life.
We’ll be discussing working slowly.
I’ll be talking with you about layering strokes of pastel.
Okay, so now let’s get started.
I packed lightly for travel because I was carrying my supplies
in my carry-on bag on the airplane.
I brought my full set of Nupastels, but packed for travel in plastic art bins.
Nupastel is the hard pastel that I use primarily in my studio.
This is the 96 stick set.
This is the largest set the Nupastel makes.
Over here the box says Grumbacher; however, the pastels in the box are Rembrandts, and
I use Rembrandts and Nupastels as my workhorse supplies.
They work beautifully together.
They can be layered back and forth continually from the beginning of the painting all the
way to the end.
Softer pastels such as Sennelier, which are magnificent, are best used at the very end
of a painting because it’s hard to layer on top of a very soft pastel with a harder pastel.
At home I use Grumbacher, Art Spectrum.
I use the incredible Roche pastels, and I use a variety of manufacturers.
At home, the hard pastels that I use include the Jack Richeson, who makes a beautiful set,
as well as Cretacolor.
In addition to my pastels, I brought my handheld mirror,
which is indispensable in the studio when working.
It allows you to look at your painting in reverse, and it helps you to catch drawing errors.
If you’re working from life, you can look at the model and your painting at the same
time over your shoulder.
You turn your back to the painting as I am right now and look over the shoulder, and
it’s like seeing the image for the first time because it’s in reverse.
I brought my chamois to lift pastel.
Pastel has a reputation for being final.
You put a mark down and you can’t change it, but that’s really not the case.
You can lift pastel with your chamois.
You can blot your pastel painting with a kneaded eraser, and some people
use a toothbrush to remove pastel.
I’ve never tried that.
I’ve brought hard charcoal for laying in the painting, and my charcoal sandpaper sharpener.
I brought two stumps for blending, which I very rarely use,
but I used it in this particular portrait.
I brought razor blades for sharpening the pastels.
I sharpen my hard pastels to a point, and it permits me to use the hard pastel like
a pencil or like an arrow, so I can be very precise with that point.
The soft pastels are harder to be precise with, but it is possible.
We can find corners and points when they break, and they do break.
Sometimes I break them on purpose and remove half of the label.
Then I can mass in a broad area with the side of the soft pastel.
Massing in doesn’t work as well with the hard pastels.
My color selection for travel includes warm and cool pinks, warm and cool greens, and
almost the full range of raw umbers.
Raw umbers seem to be in skin everywhere, in everybody’s skin, and I use these probably
more than I use any single color in creating flesh tones.
I brought one Cretacolor stick, which I hardly ended up using in this painting, but I brought
it because I don’t see a color comparable in my NuPastel set.
In fact, across the board in the pastel sets that I have, I do not see any color absolutely repeated.
Even if they’re named raw umber, for example, my Grumbacher raw umbers are quite a bit more
golden than my Rembrandt raw umbers.
The Rembrandts are a little bit greener, but they both have green and gold in them.
Ochres are essential when doing flesh tones, especially in Caucasian.
I worked on a board that I made at home.
This is cold press illustration board primed with gesso and pumice, and I then tone it
in a gray acrylic.
Then I sand the surface so that I have just the amount of tooth that I want.
I don’t want very much tooth when I do the portrait because I don’t want the texture
to interrupt my strokes.
A greater texture might be preferable for, say, a landscape painter, but for the type
of work that I do, which I am looking for in very incremental shifts of value and color.
I need quite a smooth surface.
I tone the board according to the color scheme of my painting.
I did not know until I got here who I was going to be painting, so I made this very
neutral, not too light and not too dark.
If you work on a very dark surface, when you’re putting in your darks you’re forced to make
your darks darker than you probably need them just so you can see your strokes register
on that dark surface.
It’s really a good idea to be as neutral as possible.
And so I think now we can get started on our portrait.
I find that I frequently begin my portraits by establishing the relationship of the eyebrows to the eyes,
so the whole eye socket area to the length of the nose.
I work very loosely in the beginning so that I’m making a lot of adjustments until I find the scale at which I am
comfortable working. For example, I might begin by establishing an eye size, and then I make a mark for the
base of the nose. But, that may make me feel differently about the size that I just made the eyes,
so it’s a lot of back and forth in the beginning.
I work quite abstractly. I will be looking at shadow shapes and light shapes.
I’m not concerned with eyelashes or the lights in the eyes yet.
I mean the little reflected light in the pupil and iris area is what I mean by that.
I will be looking at this light pattern and the shadow pattern here and here.
And I find that frequently I will make quite a few marks just in getting the feel of an angle
and a size and a placement on the page.
Right now, I’m looking at this big shape.
It looks to me almost like an abstracted musical note.
I’m getting a sense of how much room I need for the eye itself.
This upper eyelid sits just a little below this upper eyelid.
When I step back a little bit it’s to get more of a perspective on the proportions.
Proportions are more readily understood from a distance than from close up.
Not really thinking eye, nose, mouth;
I’m really just looking at abstract shapes of shadow and light and thinking about placement.
I will often go from eyebrow to base of nose to bottom of chin and then find the center line of the mouth.
I’m now going to check my proportions.
Top of eyebrow to base of nose is quite equal to base of nose to chin.
Okay, and that mark was good that I put there for the chin.
Now, I feel the need even before going into the mouth to just get a little bit more of the contour.
Establishing the width.
So, even though I’m not through the whole form yet at all,
I want to make some adjustments to the angles, and I need to bring this shadow of the eye down further.
Once I begin working in color, I will still be drawing, but using warms and cools.
I consider my work to be pastel paintings, but I continue to reshape the form with the color.
That’s why I say that I will continue to draw with the color.
I was checking the alignment of the beginning of this shadow with a vertical plumb line straight up,
and I see that it begins just as this shadow turns. Plumb lines are wonderful tools.
They can be used vertically and horizontally.
Many artists check the height of the ear lobe with a horizontal plumb line to see what other feature it aligns
with and the top of the ear as well.
Of course, you have to be using a really straight edge--this is a little curved--
but I turn it in such a way that I see it as a horizontal.
You can see that I’m bringing this angle in a little too far,
but before I’m so sure of that, I have to make sure that this isn’t out too far.
I think so far it looks pretty good.
Even when I’m working on one area, if when I step back to check, I see that something else is off,
I’ll leave that and try to resolve what I see is off.
There is a great deal of very complicated shadow and light on the lips so the form will be only partially
satisfactory in just charcoal line. This form will really be dependent upon the values in the color.
The lower lip is a little fuller than the upper lip.
I brought this out just a little too far.
Now, I’m not sure, but from here she’s looking just a little too full, so I’m going to step back
and take a look from a distance.
It’s great to work with a light touch with your charcoal so you can so easily wipe it off and make corrections.
There are always corrections to be made.
I’m checking to see how the chin sits in relationship to the outer corner of the lips,
so I’m imagining that if this angle continued right here,
and it looks like it would hit the outer corner of this little shadow. If I’ve got the chin about here…
This strongest part of the shadow falls once again beneath this turn.
The shadow comes out a little further
This should come out a little further.
I like to tell my students that in the beginning when they’re setting up their images—that’s a little too big—
that they want to start with the largest and, therefore, fewest shapes possible.
What I mean by that is illustrated by this drawing.
All of the shadow areas and the dark areas such as the dark areas such as the eyebrows and the eyes,
the upper lip. This all becomes one big abstract shadow shape. All the parts are connected.
The light also becomes one big light shape, except that here this is a second light shape.
If those shapes are reasonably correct, then the details that you put in when you break up these large shapes
into smaller shapes, those small shapes should fall into place
It’s difficult to make proportional adjustments if you’ve put in a great deal of detail
from the start because it gets confusing.
The values are usually not in control when you put a lot of detail in from the beginning.
Now I want to just take a look in the mirror again, the handheld mirror to see if
I’m proportionally in the ballpark up here.
I said I was going to look up here, but one looks everywhere when checking in the mirror.
One thing leads to another, in other words, literally, when making the image.
Just checking the angle of the ear and the width of the neck. I’m feeling she’s just a little too slender.
I’m going to move the neck out infinitesimally,
and I think I overdid the angle of the ear. I’ll bring that out as well just a tiny bit.
The hair will come up.
As I said, there will be adjustments once the color begins.
I’m not going to render the ear right now. I just want to account for in general the way it lines up with the neck.
Sometimes when you think something looks too narrow or something looks to wide,
it’s actually the length that’s too short, so the contrast is off.
It’s not always obvious what is wrong, especially since it’s the same mind and eye that create the mistake
that is then trying to solve what’s wrong. Again, that mirror and plumb lines help.
This comes up a little too high.
I just want to get it accurate enough to begin the color. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
When we take a little touch of my eraser and just break into the shadow
of the base of the nose to bring that light up.
I don’t see much detail down here in the shadow, but I’m just making a mark for myself
so that I know that I’ve accounted for the fullness of the form. I’m a little concerned that I’m a little too slender.
I’m just seeing if perhaps it’s simply that I haven’t accounted for the fullness of the form down here yet
in my determination to keep the shadow shapes simple.
I know that this still needs work, but I’m going to save that for the color, I think.
Now I want to think about the cropping of the picture.
I’m not going to want as much space over here, but I might want a little bit more than I have there,
so I’m going to suggest this to myself...
and bring it to here.
I think a little bit lower. I can always change my mind later on.
Now I’m starting to think about some of the half-tones, but I’m not going to go into them
very much at all in the charcoal. I just want to see what different impression the sketch will have
if a little bit of the half-tones are considered.
It’s also a way of checking my spatial relationships to see if my volumes are correct,
if the amount of space that I have for these half-tones corresponds to what I see here,
then I feel stronger about the shadow shapes and light shapes that I’ve created.
This now is looking quite narrow, so I have to bring this back a little bit.
from the work and determine if anything needs to be changed that is corrected, if anything
is bothering me, and I do see two areas that need to be looked at before I begin applying
That is the cheekbone needs to be a little fuller, needs to come out a little bit more
and reach down in a fuller manner, and then the lower cheek needs to come in a little bit.
This corner of the center line of the mouth needs to come be extended a touch, but in
as much as I have only been working with the large shadow shapes, critical
this is not such a matter.
That can be dealt with in the pastel.
This, however, is critical.
So, I’m going to take my chamois—sometimes, as you may have seen, I will lift some charcoal
with my finger, but there are oils in our flesh, so that’s best kept to a minimum.
I’m going to use the chamois today.
Chamois can be put right into the wash.
I think I’ll cut that out as well.
I see the little ghost of the line that I had made before, so I’m going to use that
as a guide and put the line a little bit to the right of the ghost.
Angles are sometimes difficult to perfect,
more difficult than a perfect vertical or a perfect horizontal.
There is a slight change in direction.
Then the diagonal here is more pronounced than the diagonal here.
It steps out.
Forgot about the oil in the finger as I got absorbed in the work.
A good practice for everyone: If there is an area of the structure that is giving
you a particular challenge, sometimes it’s good not to dwell there, but to move around
the subject and the painting to keep your eye fresh.
The eye can go a little stale if you are dwelling in one area for a long time.
Keeping the eye fresh, of course, will help you to resolve the problem.
That’s going to have to be a little more prominent as well, but I’ll take care of
that with the color.
I can see—I say that but then I go back to that because I can’t leave anything.
Okay, so now I believe it’s time to start the color.
The drawing does not have to be perfect when you begin the color because you will continue
to structure as you work with the color.
I’m going to begin with the shadows.
In order to understand color, we compare one area to all the other areas.
We understand color by means of comparison just as we understand distances of length
and width and angles.
It’s all a matter of comparisons.
In pastel we want to begin with the shadow areas and move toward the light.
The shadows that we establish tell us how light to get in the light areas.
After I indicate some of the shadow, my plan is to indicate the background because it’s
much darker than my board.
That is my plan, but in all honesty, once I begin working, the work takes on a life
of its own, and it tells me what needs to be done next.
I see a combination of olive greens and a deep pink.
This green alone will be too dark, I believe,
so I’m going to introduce a lighter olive green as well.
And I see these colors throughout the shadow.
I also see some olive in the hair.
I will most likely use my Rembrandt raw umbers in the hair.
These are NuPastels.
These are hard pastels.
They come not with a point.
I sharpen each one with a razor blade.
That way I can use it like a pencil or an arrow or a dark.
I can go right to my target.
I begin lightly.
The charcoal eventually will be completely covered by the pastel.
I make my strokes every which way.
I’m going to go right into the eye area with this color as well.
Not all the way because I don’t want the dark green in through here, but I do want
it on this side.
I hold the stick at the bottom, which allows
me to very lightly graze the surface.
It’s probably not easy for you to see because of the charcoal, so I’m just going to make
some strokes over here so you can see how I space the strokes.
There is surface, there is board left exposed at this first stage.
Eventually the board will be completely covered in pastel.
By making the strokes every which way, eventually the strokes knit together to make a mass.
If I were to make all the strokes in the same direction, the colors would not knit together
You would see stripes of individual colors rather than a mingling of color.
I’m going to go right into the eyebrow.
So, for the first pass of color, and by that I mean the use of all three in this area,
you’re just going to see the color version of the charcoal pattern.
And though I see a different tonality in the lips where I see a deep violet, I’m going
to stroke a little bit of the green in there as well just for continuity.
This area is quite a bit lighter, so I’m not going to include that with these colors.
And now I’m ready to account for the deep pinks.
And the pink reaches into the light area, so I’m going to record that at this time.
I can see that I’m going to need, I believe that I’m going to need to stroke some lights
into where I created shadow.
I believed the light is a little bit lighter than what I initially did.
That’s absolutely fine.
In fact, there are times I deliberately make the shadow areas wider or taller than they
are, and then I stroke back into the edges of the shadows in order to not have a hard
edge between the shadow or the middle tone or light.
I will be making color corrections as I go.
The first step is to establish the family of colors, and specificity will develop during
the course of the painting.
In other words, I may decide that I need a slightly different kind of a
pink or a different kind of a green.
In the first step, I’m saying I see pink here, I see green here.
Of course, I try to be as accurate as I can.
When I work from life, as I normally do, I see many changing characteristics to the color
as the natural light changes.
I’m seeing some ochres in the flesh as well.
There is no rule about how many colors we use to create any given area.
You might need three.
You might need 17.
You might need 13.
Whatever you need to do to get that color.
Now I’m going to lighten it up a little bit.
By the way, I didn’t mention, I am working on a board that I made.
This is a cold press illustration board, and I prime it with gesso and pumice.
Then I tone it with acrylic gray.
I like to work on neutral surfaces that impose little information into my color work.
You many have selected the perfect colors for any given area, but they might not combine
yet properly to represent your subject, and it may simply be a matter of how many layers
of all the colors that you use.
You may need four layers of this and just two layers of this, for example.
You may need six layers of this.
It’s just a matter of getting the ratio correct.
I will be making adjustments to the shadow area color once I put in the middle tones
and the lights.
The initial colors look different once you account
for all the colors.
I’m going to put these sticks back in the box, and I will reach for them again.
So, the background is a deep blue.
I believe I see some blue in the shadow, which I will add.
This is a lighter blue than the background, but I think that I will go for it, and I may
need to add a little of that pink I was using.
It was a little bit of a violet.
The shadow area of the flesh is darker than the background.
I want to always identify the order of the darkest to the middle tones to the lights,
so this is the darkest area.
This would be the middle tone in terms of the whole picture, corner to corner.
Then, of course, the lights are lighter than the background.
Here you can really clearly see the spaces between the strokes.
In the first stages of laying in the color, I use the same amount of pressure throughout.
Each stick has about three values inherent in it, dependent upon how heavily you press.
If I pressed more heavily, I would be depositing more pigment on the board,
so the color would be darker.
I’m using a very light pressure right now.
Conversely, if I were using a stick that were much lighter than the board, the more heavily
I press, the lighter the color would register because I’m depositing more of that pigment
on the board.
For example, this is a very light deposit, so you’re still seeing a lot of the board
showing through the strokes.
This is a heavier application, so the color registers lighter.
Now, I find these marks a little distracting while I’m working.
So far, I am using only my NuPastels.
That is because the NuPastel set is where I found the colors that I need.
If I had found these colors in the Rembrandts, I would be using them at this stage.
The Rembrandts and NuPastels are perfect partners.
They can be used from beginning to end, back and forth, back and forth
throughout the development of the painting.
Did you notice how easily I was able to lift the pastel strokes over here with the chamois.
Pastel has a reputation for being not removeable, and that is just not the case, as you can see.
I will admit that it’s easier to remove the pastel from a board than it is with a
With a porous paper, the pastel will sink in, and it’s a little more difficult to lift.
I believe that I made this a little too wide this morning.
I’m going to make an adjustment.
I’m going to take another look here.
When I go to museums and look at great drawings, I love to see the experimental or
the searching lines that the artist used before he or she found the ones that are correct.
I love to see those light, sketchy exploratory marks.
As the artist searched out the form, as my teacher would have said, my teacher
Harvey Dinnerstein used that phrase, “Searching out the form.”
That’s a little better.
my shadow shape is correct.
I believe this shadow needs to be extended a little bit to the right, so I retrieve my
colors, the two olives and the deep pinks.
I’ve been asked by my students if there is a correct order in which to lay down the color.
I usually put the color that is the most prominent in first.
To my eye, the green in the shadow is stronger than the deep rose color, so I put that in first.
It’s the most characteristic of the area.
However, because I put many layers down, by the time the picture is finished, it won’t
really matter which one I put down first in terms of the finished image.
It’s just that I like to put the most prominent one in first
because it feels like I’m anchoring that area.
I could probably come a little further even.
I will be chopping into the edge with the lighter color.
Now I’m going to be reaching for a Rembrandt raw umber.
Rembrandt makes six shades and tints of the color.
Each of their colors have a number.
The number consists of three digits and then a comma and another digit.
The digit after the comma ranges from 3 to 10.
The comma-5 color is the pure color.
The three has some black mixed in with it, and the numbers above five
have some white in them.
So, comma-3 was the darkest in the raw umber, but Rembrandt recently introduced a comma-2,
and that is now the darkest raw umber.
Whenever I believe I see a color in hair or flesh, I believe it.
I never tell myself that it’s not possible that there is blue in flesh.
Whoever saw blue in flesh, or whoever saw green hair, created by nature that is; if
I believe I see it, I put it in.
It’s the only way to develop your eye.
It’s to put in what you believe you see and then judge if it’s working or not.
Sometimes I have a student just beginning to work with color, and they have difficulty
perceiving or identifying what they’re seeing.
If you find you have that difficulty when you’re looking at your model, you just don’t
understand the colors that you’re seeing, try looking in your box of pastels and asking
yourself if you see any of those colors in the model.
In other words, you’re reversing the process of looking at the model first and looking
for the colors in the box.
Look at the colors in the box and then ask yourself if you see any of those in the model.
You can hold the stick up in the air so that you see it against the model.
So, I just used the darkest umber that I have, raw umber.
And I think I’m going to need to darken it, but I won’t do that quite yet.
I’ll be making a lot of value adjustments after I put in the lights, so I’m, going
to move actually into the lights.
This is in the rose family.
A little bit lighter.
Very lightly especially in the beginning of putting down the color, my attitude is one
of asking, is this what I see?
Is this what I see?
When I use a color I look around the whole subject, and I ask myself if I see this
color anywhere else.
For example, I had just used this in the cheek or this one in the cheek, this one in the
I believe that I see some in the eyelid, and a tiny bit above.
And I also feel that it’s time for me to start shaping the eye over here.
So, that works two-fold.
I see the color over here, and it’s time to work on the structure a little bit.
When I make these boards, I sand the finished product down to make it as smooth
as possible, yet to maintain a tooth.
The tooth is what holds the pastel to the surface.
I made a very slight adjustment to the shape of the chin in there.
Time to step back and look at the work from a distance.
I see a lot of this light rose color in the forehead and the cheek.
I’m not thinking about the highlights yet.
And after stepping back, I believe I need to widen the shadow on the nose, bring
it to the right a little bit.
Still working with big abstract shapes.
Then before I do more work in the lights, I’m feeling the need to
become more specific with the eyes.
With my charcoal in hand, I’m stepping back to determine where I need to make my marks.
The lower lash line.
Put a little charcoal tone in there just to darken so that this edge of the iris
doesn’t just jump out until I’m ready to continue with the form.
Still adjusting this.
I may have mentioned this in the previous demonstration of Morella, but I love to tell
my students that one of my very favorite quotes, and I believe it was Corot, a great French
painter, said “Making a painting is about putting stuff in and then fixing it.”
I’m paraphrasing because I’m sure he didn’t say stuff.
This eye sits ever so slightly higher than this one.
Running a plumb line up from the outer corner of the mouth to see where the pupil
and iris begin.
That means I have to have this perfectly placed, the outer corner of the mouth, that is.
Okay, and this is, again, a temporary value holder, so to speak, just so the eyes
don’t pop out as I’m working until I’m ready to go back to them.
As I mentioned, the picture tells me what needs to be done next, so even though there
is a general theory of dark, medium, light along the way, I find there are elements that
just need to be accounted for for myself in terms of
structure and sequence.
In other words, what do I need to further resolve right now in order to feel that I
am building the structure properly?
What do I need to account for?
Now, I see too much of an angle in the eyebrow.
I don’t know if that was a matter of putting in a little bit of shadow earlier, or if that
was part of the eyebrow itself, but the angle was bothering me.
I just love this shape.
Making sure that I have enough room from the eyelash line to the bottom of the eyebrow,
that’s my current concern.
And by concern, I don’t mean worry, I just mean what I’m dealing with right now.
This can reach up further.
Eyebrow was quite full here, becomes quite a bit more slender here.
This is the same stick I used earlier.
I’m using the same light green that I used earlier for the flesh and just indicating
a little bit of the green of the iris.
I’m doing that now because that touch of light right here, if I see it here and I see
it’s in the right place, I know I’m on the right track.
I’m doing this little detail just because I don’t want the iris to appear too large.
There is that light beneath the iris of that plane.
I could do the same thing over here, but I’m not feeling the need, but I just felt that
need to cut that iris down a little bit.
This is a very tiny area so I’m going to lift the color, or the charcoal actually, with the
kneaded eraser so I can get in there.
Okay and since I put some green in the other eye just for consistency.
I’m taking a middle tone green in between the two values I was using earlier.
Then I’m going back with the darker green.
There is this middle tone green again.
Frequently I go back, just go over what I’ve done.
I think it’s a way of just checking on myself.
What I’ve done, is it correct?
Now I’m picking up a lighter green, even still lighter.
Get a little bit of the light in through here.
Go back in here with that middle tone.
I want to make sure that the eye stays in shadow over here.
I have a dark mark here that is misleading.
I believe that I will be using a lighter pink than this further on down the road for some of this area.
When you move a color over another color that’s very different, you want to wipe the tip off
so that you haven’t any color that you’ve picked up you don’t want to put in an area that you don’t intend.
I just picked up a lighter raw umber because I used the raw umber in the dark hair.
I want to use the same family but a little bit lighter and soften the edge of that brow.
I think I can use some raw umber in the lights of the flesh also, but lighter than this.
But, I’m going to hold off on that for now. Stepping back.
Going into the flesh with some of that same raw umber.
Raw umber is very green, but it’s also very golden.
And I think it’s quite appropriate for the flesh.
I will also be going back into the flesh with more of the green and pink.
Picking up the dark green again.
This is the same deep pink I used earlier.
I don’t want the red to be too prominent.
I’m just starting to indicate the nostrils.
I don’t want to overemphasize them at this point.
I want them to stay within the shadow.
I think I made that one a little too far to the left.
For now, I think I’m just going to hold off on that and keep working in the light areas.
Deciding what to do next.
Just cutting that shape down a little bit.
Okay, this area got a little too pink. I’m just going to dab it.
I see so much green in the skin.
It looks like I have a little piece of gesso pumice. No, whatever it was came up.
I love the way this form curls up.
Yesterday I was concerned that I had this not full enough, but I think I made it slightly too full,
so I am attempting to change the angle of the jawline a little bit.
There is a very subtle reflected light in through here.
This vertical I believe is something in the texture. I’m trying to minimize its appearance.
I love the way this part of the lip is just engulfed in that shadow.
Just a little fuller than I have it.
Now I’ve reached for an even lighter raw umber.
I’m working with a very narrow range of colors: Greens, umbers, and pinks.
This is a little too light for what I wanted, so we’ll go back to one I was using earlier.
Okay, since I’m working over here now, I’m going to add some more of the background color.
I’m going to pick up my charcoal once again.
Bring this form in a little bit more.
The distance that I’m bringing the edge in may be very minor, but the effect is major.
This is a steeper angle than I have it
Now, I’ll be going much darker in the shadow at some point.
Taking a little bit of a darker raw umber.
I’m introducing a warm gray.
NuPastel has two dark grays in the 96-stick set. One is warmer, has a little more yellow in it,
and one is cooler with a little more blue.
Now I’m introducing a neutral. I just want to get a little more specific with this shadow shape.
I want to cut into it a little bit here.
I used this earlier in through here. This is the same gray.
Extend the lower lip down a fraction.
I brought this out a little too far just now.
The shape is not quite right.
That dips a little too much down. This color is not precisely correct.
Step back and take a look.
Okay, so I think I need to get a little bit more done here before I can fully resolve this.
I think I’ve brought this out too far though.
It’s a deep red. This is the deepest red that NuPastel makes.
So, I want to open this up a little more, lighten it up.
I need to incorporate this shape more successfully, value-wise into the shadow,
and I need to work down here. I think I need to work on the curve of the center line of the mouth.
And I’m going to raise the bottom edge of this shadow. So, I think my first move will be here.
I’m taking a very light green.
I will tell you what my plan is, but if something else catches my eye while I’m working, I go for it.
Another light green. This is a little darker than the one I had picked up just a few moments ago.
The white of the eye is really a misnomer. There is a lot of reds and yellows and blues in the white of the eye.
Take a look closely in the mirror.
It’s really a very thick underplane of the upper lid, and I think I was going to do it in charcoal,
but I think I’ll do it gray, but I think I’ll go over it with some deep pink. If that’s not deep enough, I will use red.
Sometimes the texture of the board or the paper causes a mark that we make to go astray,
and it takes a few tries. A little bit of texture will interrupt the stroke and throw it into a different direction.
There is a remnant of a charcoal mark there that I am removing.
The red is a little too strong, at least for this stage.
I want to tone down some of the red and the shadow, so I’m using the gray neutral, that’s warm gray.
I want to go a little lighter, but I don’t think that’s the stick to use.
Reaching for the very dark red.
Remove this center line down a tiny bit.
I think the upper lip was looking just a little too slender.
Now is a good time to go back into the hair.
Using the darkest one, the darkest raw umber, I’m pressing a little heavier.
I very rarely smudge the color with my finger or with a stump because that breaks down the granules
of the pastel, and one of the beauties of pastel is the light reflection. The light reflecting characteristic
of the granules. If I smudge then I break down those granules then the color doesn’t reflect the light as
beautifully, but there are times that I don’t want any texture, and in those instances I will use my finger.
Frequently in hair I find that I do, so I want to show you...
the difference between this smudged area and the unsmudged area.
The smudged area also reveals the surface less, and one can achieve a nice dark area.
I might do a little bit of that in through here as well.
I’m going to step back and check the hairline.
Check in with my mirror.
Before I go any further with that, I’ve decided to go darker with the shadow in through here.
This flesh looks greener to me compared to the raw umber of the hair.
The raw umber has a little more gold, and the flesh is more green-pink,
so I’m going to go back in with my greens and with the pink.
I brought in a Rembrandt olive green.
I’m going to see if that’s helpful here, rather than the NuPastels.
The reason I’m wondering about that is the soft pastel deposits its granules more readily.
You get more pastel on the board, so I might be able to achieve a proper dark using the Rembrandt.
I’m going to use a Rembrandt, Indian Red is what Rembrandt calls it.
That’s a little too light.
This is a slightly lighter color.
This is what Rembrandt calls Permanent Rose.
I’m going to add a little bit of this right here just to lighten it up a touch.
I don’t want any trace of the charcoal. I just want pure pigment.
I’m still working primarily in the shadow areas.
Using my very dark green here.
Now I want to introduce a little bit of blue into the shadow.
This might be too dark. Yes, I believe it is.
This is the blue that I was using for the background, which I just tried in the flesh.
I’m spending much more time on the shadow areas before moving to the lights than I usually do.
As is said, there can be a plan, and there is a general approach, but if something strikes me along the way
that has to be addressed at this moment, I will do that.
I’m adjusting color, making a few drawing adjustments mainly around here and in the mouth.
Making a little adjustment to the angle of the forehead by using the color of the hair.
Working my way into that angle.
There are some beautiful stands of hair being lit by the light. I saved that for later.
I want to get the supporting or background color in first, meaning the dark of the hair
before I get into the lights that sit on top of the dark of the hair.
Whenever you see me drop my hand with the stick and then raise it, I’ve just been wiping it off on the other hand.
Going back to the dark shadow in through here, which I haven’t really paid enough attention to.
A couple of those strokes went down a little unevenly.
I think there must have been some grains of pastel where I just worked that got maybe caught on them,
so I used my eraser to eliminate the clumps that arose.
This is the same color I used earlier in through here.
I’m taking a cooler gray out now, which is also a slightly darker value than the warmer gray.
I’m now introducing a very deep violet from the Rembrandt set.
It’s a very good stick for darkening other colors.
Going back into the light flesh tones.
This will come down.
I want to darken here. I’m just using the charcoal again as a stand-in for the black pupil.
I just want to make sure I have everything in the right place before I commit to the black.
Black pastel is difficult to go over with other colors.
It feels a little greasy, and so until I’m absolutely certain of the location of the area
that will eventually utilize black, I generally use charcoal until I’m absolutely certain.
This is my darkest color again.
I’m using the lighter raw umber. Go back into here.
I believe I pulled this shadow back a little too far before.
I believe I also see something a little yellowy happening in the shadows.
I’m going to use a color—I’ve used this color on the left. I’m going to use a yellower green.
This is the deep plum again that I said is good for darkening colors.
I also see a little bit more of that down here.
Now I’m going to go back to a rich, purply pink.
Maybe try a little less purply.
I’ll tone down some of the pink here by using a light raw umber.
I think I need something in addition, this very pale, pale green.
I like to use stronger colors than I know I’ll end up with, and I like to tone them down rather
than using just a pale color. I like to use a strong color that I then tone down.
It can be toned down with its complement or any other color that you see in the mix in the subject.
It’s another purply pink.
I’m deciding whether or not to opt out of this shadow right here.
I’m considering bringing the light all the way down to here.
So I always begin my work session by checking the drawing and checking the large abstract shapes.
Before I pick up my material, I determine what it is I need to do first.
I believe that I brought the forehead in a little too much,
and I need to bring the dark of the hair down.
I believe it’s time to go into the eyes with the black.
I may need to bring the corner of the mouth to the left a tiny bit.
So, which should I do first?
I think I will bring the hair of the forehead out a little bit more first.
So, I’m going to take a little piece of kneaded eraser and just cut back the hair a tiny bit.
These dark marks on the board are from my pinky supporting and stabilizing my hand as I work.
Just get rid of those...very easily.
And that might be fine.
That might do it. And I’m also going to have to lighten this area up, the top of the forehead.
I also believe I need to introduce some yellow ochres into the flesh tones,
but just a touch more here.
Before I add a new color, I’m going to extend the colors I already have in order to
fill up the area that I just eliminated.
I’m moving incrementally towards lightening it up rather than make a drastic change in one step.
I just like to coax it.
I am now introducing a yellow ochre. This is a fairly light one.
I’m still using a very, very light touch, basically just grazing the surface.
If there is yellow ochre in the forehead, there is certainly yellow ochre elsewhere in the flesh.
Step back. This has to be much lighter right here.
We’re going back in with this. I think this might be too dark.
Perhaps this, this is a new color. I haven’t used this before, this peachy-pink NuPastel.
When I step back I’m looking at my source material and my picture,
and I am judging where I am different here compared to here, and that determines what I do next.
This needs a little bit more ochre, but a darker value.
This is a darker value of the yellow ochre.
We’ll take the lighter value again.
I think I brought this up a little too much.
I thought I might be able to not remove the flesh tone, but I do need to.
I thought there might be just a little of the flesh tone there, but it still needed to be removed.
I’m using the darker raw umber now.
This section is very nebulous at this stage, so I’ll step back.
Sometimes I tell my students to make all their decisions from a distance.
Move forward to do the work, and then step back to judge.
I’m seeing some raw umber mixing in with the shift to the violets here.
The jump from these tones, the dark, the middle, and the light, is too severe,
so I am going to—this may be too light, but I’m going to add a raw umber,
which will make more harmony. In other words, I’m looking for the changes from here to here to here.
But, I’m also looking for what remains consistent throughout.
I see a great deal of raw umber in the model’s flesh tones throughout,
but just in different amounts in different areas.
Raw umber again.
Way too dark.
I’m going to get to the eyes soon. It’s time for me to use black.
As I had mentioned, it’s difficult to go over black, so I like to use charcoal as a stand-in for the black until I’m
certain of the location, if I’ve placed everything properly.
I first wanted to go back into the shadow a little bit with some of the raw umber.
Now I’m returning to this deep plum. NuPastel identifies this with the number 244.
I’m adding a little bit of this very lightly into the lighter areas to provide the consistency that I referred to when I
spoke of the raw umbers here connecting the darks to the lights.
The ear picks up a little bit of light, but I have to be careful not to put too much light on it;
otherwise, it might jump out of the plane in which it resides.
I’m going to need more light down here.
Now I need to build up the deep pinks.
Just making sure it’s clean.
This is the raw umber again. I’m going to add a little light.
I think this area is a little too pink, so I’m going to tone it down with the raw umber.
When I work in my studio, I work from life, as I mentioned, in natural light.
The colors and values change so dramatically during the course of one painting that I generally begin my paintings
with many, many colors. As the light conditions return, my selection of colors gets smaller.
Fewer, I should say. Not smaller.
I make decisions about the condition of light that I wish to portray my subject in.
But here, the light is not changing, obviously. I started with fewer colors. I had fewer choices to make.
I’m introducing a burnt sienna type of color into the eyes.
It's a dark green.
I just want to lighten this edge, lighten the background color a bit.
Kind of a neutral-ish green.
I want to darken this area a bit.
This area is looking a little blotchy to me, so I’m attempting to even it out.
And I want to make the transition from the shadow to the light a little more subtle.
A little stingy here with this shadow.
Just defining the nose a little bit more.
The edge of the nose is too dark for my taste.
Make this much darker.
I’m not going to keep this line here. I just wanted to define the shape of the jaw for myself.
Taking a reddish-plum, getting a little more specific with the lash line.
I’m still working on shaping that a little bit.
Bring this in.
This area right here looks too bright for the rest of the picture,
so I’m going to knock it down a little bit, but then I’m going to build it up later
when I put in the light lights elsewhere.
This is also too bright.
Darkening the iris.
And making the pupil a little smaller.
I’m going back to the black for the lash line,
but I want that to be very soft, so I’m going to go and get a stump.
The first time I’m using that in this picture.
I used them very infrequently, but if want to soften the edge in a very tiny spot, they’re very helpful.
I’ll darken this as well
I’m going to make this iris a little narrower.
I’m doing that by bringing in the so-called white of the eye.
I have a little touch of soot here. We’ll cover that up.
This color is too light, but I wanted to just cut into the iris, and then I’ll darken it.
Darken the edge with the darkest gray in the NuPastel set, the 259.
That’s the cool gray. This is really tough.
I’m attempting to darken the white of the eye. We see a lot of blue in there and then little tear duct.
Lighten this edge a little more.
It’s just a touch of light at the top of the lip as it curls out and up into the light.
Picking up the olive I used again early on to get this shadow a little darker.
The nose needs to be a little more angled, a little more of a diagonal.
I’ll bring the shadow in a little more.
And then with the green, which I see right here, I’ll come to about here.
Perhaps I had brought the bulb of the nose in a little too much.
I’m going to bring it out a little bit more again.
I also want to bring this down a little bit more using the dark olive Rembrandt.
It’s quite dark here.
This stump, I’m hoping to smudge the lash line and smooth out this.
This little area is a little too textured for my taste.
Sometimes these stumps, rather than smoothing out, will lift the color.
Probably more so with a soft pastel that smoothed it out a tiny bit, but I’ll have to go in there and work again.
I haven’t yet done the folds of the lid.
See, this is picking up the black instead of smudging it. I’ll just have to go back in there and figure out a way
to give this a soft edge.
Perhaps it’s a matter of making quite a number of light applications of the color
rather than going in there rather heavily.
Give this one more try. This is just too black-black.
Just dabbing it. That helps, aha.
I’ve never done that before, I don’t think. Just dabbing it was a help.
I’m picking up a darker version of the color I’ve been using for the underlid, for the inside of the underlid.
I’m going to indicate a tiny bit of that over here, but I wanted to stay in shadow.
I want to warm the color of this eyebrow a little bit, so I’m using this rust color.
I want to deepen the outer corners of the mouth, the color that is.
I want to darken the color of the hair, but I’ve already used the darkest raw umber that I have,
so I’m going to introduce some dark gray in hopes that it will darken it. It appears to be darkening it.
And then to restore the warm color I’ll go over this cool gray with the raw umber again.
In fact, I think I’ll use some of this in the lip,
maybe even in here.
I have to be darker in here too.
I want to remove the texture of the board from the hair, so I’m using my finger.
It also helps to make the value darker because we don’t see the light board through the strokes of color.
There are some lovely light-soaked strands over here and here.
We’ll be putting those in a little later and then steal a little bit more over here.
The hairline is lest distinct over here in the shadow, and I’ve added a little
gray to the shadow up here to darken it.
Actually, I’ll do these now because it doesn’t look hair-like yet.
You don’t want to overdo the light. I’ll be doing more with this,
but I just wanted to begin to give it the feel of hair.
The ear needs attention. I’ve paid no attention to it, practically.
Okay, so I’ve shaped the ear but I want to go in and start putting in some of the light-lights.
This is an Indian Red. Very similar to this but a darker value, so I think I’m going to go with this one.
There are some strong lights here, here, and here on the forehead, the tip of the nose.
I just see one thing. I want to go back in and restate this light.
It’s actually here.
I actually have to bring the mouth a little bit wider.
The lip is looking too bright to me, so I’m very lightly sort of glazing over it with this darker color.
I think I overdid this dark there.
This needs to be a little darker.
I want to open up the eye a little bit. I think as a result of making the lash line thicker, the eye got a little small.
A little bit lighter here.
Back to my deep olive.
it's just a little reflected light.
I’m taking a very light lavender.
I’m wanting to break into this hard edge. I made the edge so that I could establish the shape,
but I don’t want to maintain the very hard edged line.
I’m just breaking into it, a little bit of the pink.
I don’t want to become too pink there.
I’m also going to break into the edge of the lower lip.
I like this slight evidence of tiredness.
And I see that I have to bring the angle down a little bit.
I’m using the green in the lips to tone the color down.
Using a slightly lighter olive for this area.
Picking up a very light gray to go back into the eye. I think the lower inner corner
reaches up too much, so I’m going to create a little bit more light and add a little more light to the flesh.
The tear duct ends too sharply, too abruptly, and there is a little shadow, a little gray.
This is a little too light.
This is probably still too light.
Go back into the tear duct. Needs to be a little darker.
Then break into it with…
Moving the shadow leftward.
Going back and forth between the lighter green and the darker.
I don’t like how straight that is.
Going to break into that.
That’s a little bit of the very light green.
It’s the lighter one.
Going back into the forehead.
Background seems to be a little lighter on this side, but it might just be that I’m seeing this against very dark
shadow, and I’m seeing this side against the light and the contrast might be fooling my eye.
Bringing a little more light into this area.
I just lifted the form of the wing of the nostril.
I want that to be just visible enough in the shadow. I don’t see it very distinctly, but I do see it.
I’m using this dark green to darken the olive green.
I could use the darker olive green, but it’s such a tiny space I’m concerned about being clunky.
I’m going to try the stump again to soften this.
I think I lightened this area a little too much.
Give it a try with the clunky…it’s okay.
Even with the soft pastels you can usually find a short point somewhere, and if not, you can always break it to
create a short point. It lets you get into tiny spaces.
Checking the angle of the upper lip. It needs to come down a little bit more.
Going to try a broader stump. It might be more effective than softening the line than it seems to be.
I’m going to make this light a little more expressive of the turn of the cheek.
I’m going to go into the lips once more.
With a purplish-pink and an orange-pink, primarily for the lower lip.
Go a little lighter.
I’m taking a pure red for the first time.
I want this edge to be darker than the edge of the shadow here, but I don’t want to darken the edge,
so I’m going to lighten the body of the shadow a little bit.
I guess I’m going to darken it after all, the edge.
I love making drawing adjustments.
Doing so affirms my commitment to the project. I believe I need to angle the forehead.
I believe I brought the cheekbone out a little too far, which makes my angle down to the chin too extreme.
The lips are too purply-pink. Yesterday I used a purple and a more orange-pink.
I’m going to go with the more orangey pink today.
The upper lid rises up too high, and I believe this eye still needs to be enlarged slightly.
I’m not positive about that. Let’s see when I adjust this. This may look more correct.
I think the forehead needs to be lightened, and I will be putting some more pastel on the ear.
Perhaps this shadow needs to be extended just a little more to the right.
There is the little form here which I like very much, which I haven’t attended to yet.
I think I will work on the eye first.
I’m picking a fairly neutral NuPastel.
This is the number 204. It’s kind of a grayed-down pink.
Take the same color. This is the same stick.
I felt that I needed to lengthen this. Now this needs some adjustment.
This angle is now incorrect, but this feels a little more correct, this part.
I will have to incorporate this new shape, the color, into the area above it.
But I’m eager to make the adjustment to the color in the lips. I’m going to do that first.
I have to decide if I’m going to lift this color that’s on there already, or if I’m just going to work over it.
I think I will lightly lift it with the chamois.
Not a lot because I don’t want to lose the shape.
I just noticed that this is too dark, the warm edge of the nose, quite a bit too dark. While I have it in mind…
The lower edge of the highlight is a little too hard also.
I’m going to attempt to soften that.
I’d better get back to the lips.
I was just checking the location of the neck.
I think it can come in a little bit more.
I picked up the wrong blue.
I think this should come down the shoulder, come down a tiny bit.
I’m going to soften the edge of the lip here.
And I don’t like what’s happening in the center line.
Just too hard, too hard of an edge.
Sometimes you make a stroke, and you realize that you used too hard a touch.
I’m going to clean this up a bit.
I might see along the tape here, a little bit of the build-up of pastel.
I have a very light touch in my application so I generate very little dust.
For now I’m going to obliterate this little light.
I just want to make sure that the lips stay in place in their shadow here.
They’re still too hard of an edge.
More sticking up there.
So, just a little while ago I made some drawing adjustments,
and now I’m making adjustments to the light.
Making sure that these lips stay in the shadow over here.
I’m going to take a NuPastel, the cooler gray.
This is the darkest gray in the set. I’ll just fill out that loop a little bit.
Looks almost violet.
I’m extending the lips a little bit.
Going over the lips with a blue.
This is just to tone down the pink.
The gray on top of the highlights.
I haven’t made the highlights as profound as they are here.
Never underestimate the power of gray.
Gray offers a relief to the eye when there is a lot of intense color.
I’m considering the movement of the shadow from the lips to the cheek. It comes higher than I had it.
Okay, now I have to deal with this eye, but first I’m going to get a little more pastel on the ear
so I’m considering this whole form.
I’m deciding what color I need first.
I think I have all the colors there already. I just need to build them up.
I believe I was using this slightly lighter olive.
Such subtle color.
This is the same stick that I used just a few moments ago to adjust the lip color.
Darker. This is like a burnt sienna.
I used the light yellow color just so I could see the shape I was creating,
but I knew I would darken it with the olive green.
Going over the whole form with the olive green in order to unify the colors. They look spotty.
If you find that your colors are looking patchy. You can consider going over everything with one tone.
It creates kind of a visual filter.
This is looking patchy to me, so I’m going to go over it with this. I may need a darker one.
I’m extending the shadow to the right.
This is a very light raw umber.
I’m doing this again to unify. I’m taking the darker olive.
I’m going to clean this little smudges of pastel.
Do you see how easily the pastel is really very clean?
It’s really how it gained so much favor in the 17th and 18th centuries for portraits.
Portrait artists could travel to patron’s homes, set up their supplies, and not worry
about dirtying up their patron’s homes.
It’s very easily cleaned up, easy to travel with.
So, it gained tremendous favor for portraiture.
Before the 19th century, most pastel work was done in the field of portraiture rather
In the 19th century, artists began, in mass, using pastel for landscapes outdoors.
So, I’m deciding whether or not this eye needs to be larger.
It seems to need to be larger, but it’s correct in terms of—when I do this, it measures
correctly against the width of the nose, but it just seems to not take up enough room.
Sometimes my students will ask me if it measures out correctly, but it looks too small or too
large, which do you trust?
I will usually trust the eye over the measurement.
I do see that I need to adjust the shape of the fold.
It rises up to much.
It could be the value.
If the value is too light it makes less of an impact.
I do think I need to darken the iris and the pupil.
I see I also need to make an adjustment to the lower lid.
Perhaps that is what the issue is on both.
Perhaps that’s what it is.
Okay, I am going to change the shape of the underlids and see if that makes the difference.
I’m going to take a dark brown and this very light, light which I used earlier in
the eye area, and I’m going to bring this…
I’m going to use this burnt sienna again.
It’s too bright.
It’s a very, very light gray.
This is a Cretacolor.
I brought this one Cretacolor stick because I find that I use it quite frequently in flesh
tones, and there isn’t a comparable stick in the Rembrandts.
I mean the NuPastels, sorry.
Picking up the red again.
I perceive a little blue, more than I had put in before.
This is a very light olive green.
I brought three values with me.
That was a very dark gray, the darkest that NuPastel makes.
I considered introducing this into this area, but I think since I haven’t used it yet,
it might be discordant with the other tones.
It’s rare that you find a color in one spot of flesh that you don’t see anywhere else
in the flesh.
I think I can use this.
This is almost white.
Working again with the raw umbers in the hair.
I want to make an adjustment to the hairline.
This is the olive.
And I think I’m going to darken using a gray.
I think maybe the hair is a little too dark.
I think I can go darker in the darks.
I need to move this.
Step back and look in the mirror.
I see a few wisps of hair under here.
I used a little bit of this earlier, and I do believe I see blue in the shadows.
I decided I think I’m not going to darken the shadow.
There is a very broad range of ochres.
There are golden ochres, yellow ochres. They’re golden.
I see some bluish-gray in there.
Particularly in the neck.
Just clean this up a little.
I just want to clean this up a little bit.
I’m taking my kneaded eraser.
I don’t like the edge of the pupil being so hard and distinct.
You never want to overdo a reflected light.
Some very, very, very light pink.
This is a little too light.
I think I’ve gotten a little too dark over here.
This is looking too pink to me.
I think darkening the background is helping.
And I think it’s going to be good for the hair as well.
All along the development of the painting, adjustments are being made to the values and the drawing.
When I added blue into the shadow areas
—this blue—and I was applying it on top of olive green and raw umber.
I was using the NuPastel on top of the Rembrandt.
Remember, I had mentioned that these two companies can be used interchangeably
throughout the course of the painting.
I just want to get this little smudge off.
Usually people think that you can only put a soft on top of a hard, but with these two
companies you can work back and forth.
I’ve so glad I’ve brought these raw umbers with me.
I’m going to use one to tone down some of the pinks.
I think first I’ll work here.
You just have to be very careful about placement, especially at this stage.
You have to make sure you’re putting the pastel where you intend, and that is sometimes
difficult with the chunky pastel.
I would say that I use raw umber more than any other single hue.
This little spot got a little too dark above the inner corner of the eye.
This is the darker raw umber.
Adjusting the shape, still drawing.
I’m going to turn and look at the reversed image.
Bring this shadow forward just a little more.
So now that the painting is complete, I want to mention a few things that were important
to me while I was working, and thoughts I would like to leave you with.
Don’t ever hesitate to make a change in a painting if you think it’s necessary.
It’s worth losing the painting just to experience the striving to make it better.
Re-draw as often as you need to.
Don’t be afraid to lay down a color.
Put it in if you believe you see it in your subject.
It’s the only way that you can develop your eye, it’s to put in what you believe you
see and see if it’s working.
When studying your subject, move your eye back and forth between your painting and your subject.
Do that rapidly so that you’re almost projecting one image onto the other, and you will learn
to see where your image differs from the model.
It is permissible for you, of course, to change information that you are working from, in
other words, to invent something.
But, it has to be for the sake of harmony in the picture.
If there is something in your setup that is disharmonious or unharmonious, then create
harmony in the painting.
That’s what artists do.
They create harmony out of chaos, and they select.
You don’t need to put everything in that you see.
You’re extracting what is essential to you.
Always paint what you love.
Paint your passion.
Don’t paint something because you think you should.
I did a lot of redrawing throughout this portrait.
There were minor changes but they mattered to me.
Even at the end when I extended the chin down a little bit, I could have lost it but I didn’t,
and I’m so glad I changed the chin.
I feel much better about it.
So, enjoy yourself.
It’s such a wonderful medium.
I look forward to seeing you next time.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview48sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Overview of Materials7m 53s
3. Charcoal Lay-in34m 56s
4. Touch-ups to Lay-in and Introducing Color25m 46s
5. Initial Skin-Tone Block-in and Establishing Eyes45m 55s
6. Adding Greenish Tones to the Skin51m 32s
7. Detailing the Eyes, Darkening the Hair, and Coloring the Lips56m 10s
8. Coloring the Shadow Side of the Face30m 8s
9. Lightening Areas of the Skin, Adding Black to the Eyes57m 24s
10. Adjusting Transition from Shadow Side to Light Side, Adding More Detail to Eyes47m 7s
11. Darkening the Hair50m 2s
12. Addressing the Lights1h 20m 59s
13. Altering Tones of the Lips and Adding Pastel to the Ear55m 4s
14. Adjusting the Lower Lids and Darkening the Color of the Eyes59m 18s
15. Addressing the Light and Shadow Sides of the Neck and Forehead34m 49s
16. Completing the Background and Final Touches34m 17s