Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Commissioned Portrait - A Work in Progress

I haven't shared a work in progress with you for quite a while so I thought I'd share this one with you.  I was commissioned to do a pastel of these two precious children - they are the grandchildren of my client. One you can see still has the price tag on her!  There is such tenderness and love in this photo and I want to make sure I get that in the pastel.

It begins with a photo reference. 

I have a cropped sketch on my velour paper.  I've made the outline with a pastel pencil. You can barely see it below and sometimes the lines get lost when I'm working but I always have the photo next to me to refer to. These aren't greatest photos of the progress but it will give you an idea of  how it looks at different stages. 
Next, I just started to block in areas with color.  This was a challenging pastel for me to say the least!  As most of you know I usually start with the eyes and both of these children have their eyes closed.  The other thing that makes it challenging is children's skin is very smooth. There  are no wrinkles and there isn't any fur! 
I usually panic at this point - it's the ugly stage and I always wonder if I'll get through it or not.  Full panic had set in when I was looking at it.
Here I've made some adjustments in the little boy's head and face.  Then began on the hands.  Another challenging thing for me to do - hands are complicated.

Almost near the finish . . . but there is still more to do. . .but I'm feeling more comfortable with how it is looking.
At this stage is where I just let it sit for a day or two because I'm sure there are things that need to be adjusted and tweaked.

And here we are - the final portrait after a few minor tweaks!
11" x 14" pastel on velour

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.