Work in Progress

Portrait of a Pastelist

Hot off my easel is a portrait I’ve been wanting to paint ever since I met Liz at a meeting of the local Pastel Society of Southeast Texas. She has an inescapable presence sporting her white spiked hair. I just had to paint her!! I chose to use pastel for this portrait since Liz enjoys painting in pastel herself. I used Canson Mi-Teintes paper in a mid-gray color. It allows me to get subtle, nuanced shifts in my color application that I simply can’t achieve on sanded papers.

Liz loves the great outdoors and her pastel paintings are mostly of landscapes and seascapes. When she came to pose for me I learned that she had been a hand model at one point in her life. Go figure. Keeping those tidbits in mind, my final composition is cropped tightly and painted larger than life so I could paint my own little landscape that shows up in the reflection of Liz’s glasses. Having her hand positioned against her face I was able to really show off all the details of those “model” hands, and get the CEO look I was after.

Here are some close ups…

Can you see the landscape diptych? I call it, Ode to Liz, pastel, 1 1/2″ x 3/4″. If you don’t see the second half of the diptych, try not looking at the iris and focus instead on what is in front of the iris. Cool right?

I really wanted to make sure that all of the anatomy of this hand showed up; the tendons as they go across the knuckles, the veins as they cross over the tendons, the bend of the flesh as the fingers curl. You get the idea.

And then there was that favorite scarf that Liz brought. I plan to send my carpal-tunnel therapy bill straight to her!  ’nuff said.

2 Comments on Portrait of a Pastelist

  • Ann Evers says:
    March 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Your work is so beautiful I just can’t get enough looking at it.
    The eyes. eye glasses, and hands are amazing.


  • Ed Meanley says:
    March 3, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Definitely Liz. Great portrait. Amazing detail. Love it.


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