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KimE
11-17-2000, 05:56 PM
Hi,

I have been lurking for awhile and I have finally decided to join in and introduce myself. I am a homeschooling mom and I have been working on learning to do portraits. Here is one I did yesterday, it's the first one that actually looks quite a bit like the person it is supposed to be. This is my daughter, who actually has blond hair, but she dyed it a dark mahogany red.
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/AmyN.JPG" border=0>

I had bought a sheet of sanded pastel card to try and I think the effect was very nice.

I am thinking about trying one of the Girault skin color sets. Have any of you tried them? Do you like them? What size are they, compared to say, Rembrandt?

Thanks, Kim



[This message has been edited by KimE (edited November 17, 2000).]

Roan
11-17-2000, 08:04 PM
Welcome, Kim!

Lovely picture and what a lovely daughter you have!

I'm not sure about Girault, they've only been recently re-introduced to the pastel market. I bet Diane can answer your question when she pops in!

Hugs!

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A'bheinn as Óirde tha san týr, 's ann oirre 's trice chý thu 'n ce˛ --
<FONT size="1"> The highest hill is oftenest covered with clouds.
-- Scots Gaelic proverb.</FONT s>

bk7251
11-17-2000, 08:32 PM
I don't know about the skin color sets, but the Girault pastels in general are really very nice. I bought some in Paris last year and I'm glad to find they are now available here. They're a bit smaller in diameter than Rembrandts. They have a medium firm consistency, so they don't break or crumble easily, but the colors go down very easily. The sticks are not wrapped, but instead have their number stamped on each stick.

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Barry Katz

sassybird
11-24-2000, 07:16 AM
Kim, I like the way you layed down your color and the glow you achieved in her skin. A very nice job all in all.

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sass

Roan
11-24-2000, 04:00 PM
Barry,

If you get a minute, could please measure your Giraults? I'm thinking of adding them to my open stock resource list and I can't find their dimensions.

Hugs!
Roan

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A' bh˛ as miosa th' anns a' bhuaile, 's i's cruaidhe geum. --
<FONT size="1">The worst cow in the field lows the loudest.
-- Scots Gaelic proverb.</FONT s>

RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com)

billyg
11-25-2000, 04:29 AM
Hey Kim,
Did you say you rattled this off in a day?.Bigger congrats than ever for a job well done.As for the hair,Kids are like that and they dont get much better as they grow either.
(signed by male chauvanist) Billyg. Tee Hee.

gmc
11-26-2000, 09:45 AM
Beautiful!!!!

I am new as of today. I was just looking through Pastels. I am a beginner with portraits as well as pastels. Any hints or tips? I have been advised to use only Nu-Pastels. In my limited knowledge, I like the soft Rembrandt and Derwent Pencil. My hope is to someday present a portrait like this. Those are the colors also that I like. The one and only teacher i had insisted on lots of reds, oranges and purples then subdue the brashness with white overlay. I like a softer look. Thanks for sharing. You just gave me inspiration to leave the computer and pick up my sticks. Thanks!! Gloria

KimE
11-26-2000, 11:36 PM
Thanks for all the encouragement. I have to admit that I have been stuck for over a week on my lastest painting. I am trying to do one of my sons and I just can't get the face right. I have wiped it (the face) off and started over several times. I have ordered a couple of books that I hope will give me the direction I need, and I also have to figure out a way to set up better lighting.

Kim

4vincent
11-27-2000, 06:14 AM
KimE,

A book you might find helpful is "Pastel" by Daniel Greene. He also has videos out in pastel portraiture.
As far as lighting the subject, one general way is to have the light source above and at about forty-five degrees to the subject; this will give good value separations (lights/darks) and help to achieve the likeness in the facial structure.

[This message has been edited by 4vincent (edited November 27, 2000).]

scottb
11-27-2000, 06:30 AM
Kim, your e-mail address here in the forums is incorrect. "[email protected]" doesn't work. Can you correct?

Thanks!
Scott

KimE
11-27-2000, 11:00 AM
Gloria,

I started with a charcoal sketch and then used the darker colors and laid the lighter colors over them. The lips started out rather dark and lurid and I lightened and toned them down. The "whites" of the eyes are two shades of a grey green, I don't know if this would work as well on another color of paper, say blue.

I took pictures as I went along, would you like me to send you some of the earlier stages? Each portrait seems to go through what I would call a hideous stage, where you might think it could never turn out right. (And some of them don't.)

I have been purusing all the books I can find on the subject of portraits in pastel, and books about oit portraits are also helpful, I think. I found "Painting Expressive Portraits in Pastel" by Paul Leveille helpful, although I think the printing in the book came out a little too orangish. I found it in my library system.

4Vincent,

I have ordered the video by Daniel Greene, I expect it to come this week, and I have checked his book "Pastels" out from the library.

Scott, I'll correct the email address right now. My apologies.

Kim

gmc
11-27-2000, 04:44 PM
Kim, I would love to see stages of your work. I registered yesterday in Artist Way under Monster. I had a teacher but parted ways. read my monster story and you will find out why. I need all the help i can get.I have the book "The Art of Pastel Portraiture" I find it very helpfu. I also have another "How to Paint Living Portraits" by Roberta Carter Clark. it has lots of info on drawing and color. Covers oil, watercolor, charcoal portraits. The problems with the pastel books is they never seem to suggest a color. I think everything i have done so far has reached that stage of "incompletion." perhaps i will take your suggestion, pull them all out again and continue with more color. I will also check out the book you suggest. I am in the mood for a new book. Again I would love to learn so please keep me in mind when you post more pictures. or did you want to send it through my email. let me know and thanks.gloria

KimE
11-27-2000, 07:16 PM
Gloria,

Here is a link to a picture of earlier stages of my painting so anyone who is interested can look at it. I thought it was a bit large to post on the site. I have included just the face, but at a pretty high resolution.

http://www.geocities.com/kjjsiebert/pictprogress.JPG

You may notice that in the earlier stage the colors don't "go" together. Don't worry too much about exactly which color, just try to be reasonable and have the value right. I think you need the layers of different shades to get a believable skin because our skin is really like that. The under layers did have more color. The underlayer of most of the hair is a very dark purple, and part of the skin is a lighter shade of the same color, a peachy purple.

Here is the original photo I did the painting from, if anyone is curious:


http://www.geocities.com/kjjsiebert/Amynet.jpg

Hope this helps, Kim


[This message has been edited by KimE (edited November 27, 2000).]

Roan
11-27-2000, 08:49 PM
Originally posted by gloria777a:
. . .I have been advised to use only Nu-Pastels. In my limited knowledge, I like the soft Rembrandt and Derwent Pencil. My hope is to someday present a portrait like this. Those are the colors also that I like. The one and only teacher i had insisted on lots of reds, oranges and purples then subdue the brashness with white overlay. I like a softer look. . .

Gloria, hello again!

Glad you got rid of that monster :P

I don't know why anyone would advise you to just stick with Nupastels -- I guess it all boils down to the style of painting you want to do.

There are lots of different styles of pastel painting. Although I love and admire Kim's work here, I couldn't do that if I tried. At least, not yet :P

I take the more painterly approach because I'm not "free" enough with myself to do what Kim did. You may want to explore different styles and decide which is right for YOU.

Here's my latest I'm working on (and getting a LOT of help with in the Critiques Forum):

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/dl_11-22-00dda.jpg" border=0>

As you can see, it's a totally different style from Kim's.

If you want to read the Critiques, here's the <A HREF="http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum21/HTML/001893.html">page link</A>.

My advice is: explore and discover as many styles as you can and then pick the one you like. Don't let any monsters get you down or tell you otherwise!

Hugs!
Roan

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A' bh˛ as miosa th' anns a' bhuaile, 's i's cruaidhe geum. --
<FONT size="1">The worst cow in the field lows the loudest.
-- Scots Gaelic proverb.</FONT s>

RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com)

[This message has been edited by Roan (edited November 27, 2000).]

4vincent
11-28-2000, 09:26 AM
Kim,

I think the book and video of Greene's will be helpful to you. He covers many things like pastel application, working procedures, lighting a model, and facial structuring in it. Other names in pastel portraiture you might want to check out are Aaron Shikler, Albert Handell, Harvey Dinnerstein, Doug Dawson, Bettina Steinke, Harley Brown (new book),Ramon Kelley..gee, it goes on and on...

Roan,

It's funny about using "only Nupastels". (Even though I agree with using several brands) I took a workshop with Igor Babailov once; when he got ready to do a portrait, I looked on his taboret and just saw some Nupastels and very few others. Still, he did a nice portrait with what he had there. It's really disgusting when people can work like that! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif Ken

Roan
11-28-2000, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by 4vincent:
Roan,

It's funny about using "only Nupastels". (Even though I agree with using several brands) I took a workshop with Igor Babailov once; when he got ready to do a portrait, I looked on his taboret and just saw some Nupastels and very few others. Still, he did a nice portrait with what he had there. It's really disgusting when people can work like that! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif Ken

I have that Greene video on my Christmas list. I just wish it wasn't so pricey!

I've never taken a class, wish I could. Wish there were some decent ones around here!

All he had were Nupastels and a few others? I agree, that's disgusting! :P

As for my comment about Nupastels, I want to clarify in case I offended some Nupastel fans. When anyone is teaching, in a studio, or in a classroom, the students are looking to them for guidance and direction. A lot of them are going to take their word as gospel truth.

Now, I don't have a problem with a teacher, regardless of who, advocating Nupastels or any other brand as the choice to use for their workshop purposes. I have a problem with a teacher giving the impression that you shouldn't use anything else outside of that workshop. I think that should be the students choice as well as their direction -- perhaps during the last class -- to be told to explore other brands, surfaces, etc.,.

Just wanted to clarify what I was saying and it's just my opinion. Probably not even worth the bits it's typed on :P

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B'fheÓrr gun t˛iseachadh na sgur gun chrýochnachadh. --
<FONT size="1">Better not begin than stop without finishing.

-- Scots Gaelic proverb.</FONT s>

RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com)

[This message has been edited by Roan (edited November 28, 2000).]

KimE
11-29-2000, 12:31 AM
I have that Greene video on my Christmas list. I just wish it wasn't so pricey!


I buy any books I can find used, usually on eBay, but there are other good sources. I haven't seen the Greene video used, so I am buying it new. After I have watched it as many times as I wish I will resell it on eBay. Daniel Greene's oil portrait video recently sold for $50 used in very good condition, so I figure the pastel video will sell in the same range. This is like a rental for about $22, only you can keep it for as long as you like before you "return" it. and makes it much more reasonable. If you have the luck to find it used for $50 you can probably make most of your money back.

Kim

gmc
11-29-2000, 06:53 AM
Hi out there, HELP i have just spent the last three days trying to find the book by Daniel Greene. I love Daniel Greene. Can anyone help me find a store, on-line or not, or an address to purchase this book. I do want this book. Everyone seems to have it except me. And everyone is talking about it. I checked amazon, borders and barnes and noble. they all say out of print. Does someone have a secret address. OHH! maybe the publisher. thanks for you help gloria

Phyllis Franklin
11-29-2000, 07:52 AM
http://www.half.com

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Please check out my note cards! Blackberry Ridge (http://prf.artistnation.com) &lt;----my shameless plug.

4vincent
11-29-2000, 09:22 AM
Roan,
I know what you mean about lack of classes in your area; I had to go to Ohio or Tennessee to take mine.
I also know what you mean concerning "teacher's preferences" in regards to materials. I say use what works for you. I still use some Nupastel in my works; they sharpen nicely for detail and preliminary drawing, and their size works well for city interior shapes, houses, etc. I sure like them better than Yarka..my biggest disappointment. Greene uses some Nupastel sticks, like #283 Vandyke brown, #223 Burnt umber, and #206 Sandalwood (not sure of numbers) for initial lay-ins.
Kim and Gloria: Good luck with your videos/books when you get them. Ken

KimE
11-29-2000, 09:40 AM
I can hardly believe it, but I just checked, and the Daniel Greene pastel video is up for sale on eBay! The current price is only $5 but it will probably go up to the $50 range, maybe at the last minute.

Here is a link to the page:

. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=508785710

His book Pastel has sold twice in the last 10 days for under $10, so it is worth keeping an eye on eBay if you can't find it somewhere else.

Kim

VictoriaS
11-30-2000, 12:26 AM
Just checked abe.com. There are a few copies of the Daniel Greene book listed. A couple for $20.00 and one for $27.00, if you don't want to deal with ebay.

gmc
12-09-2000, 06:08 AM
Kim, I just love that portrait of your daughter. I have also checked out your step by step pictures. Would you be willing to put some color names that you used in the process? I have derwent, nupastel some rembrandt, conte. color names or numbers would be helpful. I received the book Expressive Portraits. I agree it is very orangy. This throws me off a little. And to match the colors to his palette is almost impossible. If you could help if would be much appreciated. There is so many colors to choose from, I seem to be grabbing them all and then end up with mud.

KimE
12-09-2000, 10:14 PM
Gloria,

Here are some shades I find myself using a lot. These are all Rembrandt unless noted.

Darks:

I use black in the pupils and sometimes in the eyelashes. I use it in dark hair and in dark shadows, but only glazed on in accents over other dark colors.

Mars Violet 538,3
This is a very dark subdued purple for shadows on skin, lips and hair.

Raw Umber 408,5 & 3
Less dark, but still for dark shadow areas.

Mid tones:
Light oxide red 339,3
Darkish midtone (doesn't look red)

Mars Violet 538,8
A good coolish midtone.

There is another color almost the same as 538,8 except that it is warmer. I really use it a lot, but like a fool I threw the wrapper out when it crumbled into short lengths, now I have to take a sample to the store to figure out what it is!

Caput mortuum red 343,7
Lip color or undertone on reddish cheeks, or any area that needs to be more reddish.

Light tones:
Burnt sienna 411,9
Lighter areas of skin

Light oxide red 339,7
slightly darker value and more pink than 411,9 good for more color in the skin and good for glazing over more intense colors for the lighter areas of the lips.


Other:

Raw Umber 408, 10
I use this for the lighter part of the whites of the eyes.

Schmincke Greenish grey 1
Shadow part of white of eye. Of course you can use other colors such as brownish or greyish colors here, too.

You also want a very light yellow or peach for the highlights on face and eyes.

A couple of shades of Umber and Burnt Umber in pastel pencil are handy for glazing in small shadows and for putting in the nostril, if it is dark. I also use them for parts of the line between lips and darker areas of lips. I use a more vivid color, such as 343,7 and then use umber over it to tone it down for the shadowed areas. You can use 343,7 to tone down the areas of the lips that are light in value.

Of course these colors are quite limited and if you used only these for all your portraits they would all have the same skin tones, but at least it gives you someplace to start, and you can experiment with other colors. Once you get the hang of it substitute another hue of the same value for any of the ones you have been using.

Here is an exercise that you might like to try, if you are having trouble figuring out where to begin:

Use a photo of a face with clear shadows. Take a piece of Canson paper and block in an area roughly corresponding to the face using the dark and midtones. Use all the dark and midtones, some here some there. If there is a very light area in the face you can block it in with a light tone, but only a small area. Roughly block in dark tones for the hair, just so it doesn't look like a face floating in space. Don't make any effort to be very accurate and don't try to get a likeness, this is just for fun!!!! Overlap your colors in all areas a little. Put some of the bright lip color about where the mouth should be, but don't blend it.

Now take a finger or some blending tool and blend everything into the paper and blend all the edges into each other. Stand back and squint at it, how does it look? Now layer the medium colors over the lighter areas of shadow and layer the lighter colors over the lighter areas of the midtones. Blend a little. Keep squinting at your photo and at your picture to see the basic shapes of light and dark. No detail is allowed at this point.

Now add some of 339,7 to the lighter area of the lips, you can blend this a bit. Use a dark brown like umber to darken the line between the lips and tone down the shadowed areas of the lips. Just feather it on lightly to tone it down. Let the shadowed area of the lips run into the shadow under the lips.

Keep adding layers for however long you think you are still accomplishing anything. Just don't try to make a real likeness or you will get too niggling.

If you try this, I would be interested in hearing if it helps you.

Here is my lastest portrait. I have been really delighted to have the chance to work from life on this one. My own children won't sit still for me, this is the son of a friend. The hands and shirt aren't done yet, but the head is.

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/Luke1.JPG" border=0>

gmc
12-10-2000, 06:22 AM
Kim, You are a doll. I will check to see how far off i am in color. You have given me a wonderful reference and now I can add to my own. I am a visual learner. (oh, artist, visual learner, of course) I have to see to understand. Now about your portrait of the young man. How wonderful!!!! And I love the colors you are using. You have style that the viewer can connect to. Both pieces make the viewer feel that they would like to know these people. What a great future you have. Have you taken formal art classes and if you have where. College, University or art school. Or are you a self learner. I know I am bothering you with questions. How many years have you been doing art.gloria

KimE
12-13-2000, 10:30 PM
Gloria,

Don't take my suggestions as THE colors for skin, they are just someplace to start if you are unsure how to begin. I went to the store today and the mystery color that I really use a lot in tne midtone areas is Sennelier #439.

I haven't had any art training, I have checked out a lot of books, and bought quite a few. I hope I will be able to attend a workshop sometime, but I want to make sure it is a good one. I had planned to take a class, but when I went to a demonstration by the instructor I decided that she didn't really know a lot more than I did. I have 4 children ages 4-15 and I homeschool the two middle ones so I really have to work to find time to be serious about art. I am trying to take the "Harley Oath" and draw from life for at least one half hour a day, plus working with pastels regularly. My goal is to be able to capture the personality that I see in each person I paint or draw, but right now I am just working on mastering the materials and getting a reasonable likeness.

I have concentrated on art several times in my adult life, and on related crafts also. I feel that having done things such as dyeing and spinning wool and designing and knitting sweaters has helped my sense of color and design.

To Everyone,

I finally received my copy of Daniel Greene's video yesterday. It is the most complete pastel video I have seen. I found the section on working from the inside of the face out the most helpful. I started a drawing of my son (I had to promise to pay him to get him to sit for me!!) and I think it will work much better for me than the "start with an oval" method. It's a great video, but I wish I could find a good one by someone with a looser style for comparison. I really like Harley Brown's style, it would be great if he had a video out too. Have any of you others seen Harley Brown's book?

Kim

[This message has been edited by KimE (edited December 13, 2000).]

Lulu
12-14-2000, 02:36 AM
LOVE your work Kim! and your info about the Rembrandt pastels is very helpful.
Lucky me - my husband is giving me the Harley Brown book AND the Daniel Greene pastel portrait video for Christmas! Can't wait for December 25!
Your technique involves a lot of blending Kim, but the final stages don't look like that - is that right?
Whatever, it's a beautiful result.

[This message has been edited by Lulu (edited December 14, 2000).]

KimE
12-14-2000, 10:19 AM
Lulu,

<<Your technique involves a lot of blending Kim, but the final stages don't look like that - is that right?
>>

I like to blend in the beginning stages, this makes a sort of smooth underpainting with less paper showing in the main areas. Later I hardly blend at all, just a touch here and there. After there is pastel covering most of the surface the pastel tends to blend as you are applying it, and I like some of my strokes to show, anyway.

The exercise I suggested above isn't supposed to be a complete method of painting, just a place to start for those who aren't sure how to get started.

Thank you for the compliments.

Kim

Katherine J
01-04-2001, 04:07 PM
Hello Kim and congratulations on your wonderful portrait. I'm a neophyte to Wet Canvas, (that's why I'm late to this message) also to pastels, and as for computers I'm a troglodyte. But here goes - have no idea if I'm doing it right. My question is, will I ever be a good pastelist if I don't know the names of all the colors. So far, I own not even 1/4 of the number most professionals possess and have no idea of the names, especially after the wrapers are gone!

gmc
01-04-2001, 04:24 PM
So far, I own not even 1/4 of the number most professionals possess and have no idea of the names, especially after the wrapers are gone![/B][/QUOTE]

Katherine, i read somewhere, just recently, about knowing the colors of the pastel after throwing away the wrappers. It said to start a color collection by putting a color sample in a small drawing book. Preferrably white. to put a small swatch of color and write down the number/color name/ brand or code next to the sample color swatch. this way after the piece breaks or the wrapper is thrown away you still have a record of all you pastels. It took about one evening to accomplish this task, but believe me it was well worth the effort. since i have not had problems restocking colors that i use. i hope this helps. i guess after a while, we will both remember the color names and pluck them out as needed. welcome to pastel. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

KimE
01-04-2001, 06:10 PM
Katherine,

There is no need to know the names of the colors. There is a lot of leeway when you work with colors, the most important thing is to have the relative values right, that's why people can make portraits out of all sorts of colors and still have them look like faces. Of course, you probably want to at least have the ability to make the skin tones look more or less like they do in real life. The fact is that any color that is close to the right hue will look fine if it is the right value, so relax. Also, at least for me, the color I end up with is a result of layering several colors and often the picture looks very strange in the earlier stages.

You probably have have plenty of pastels to get going. For skin tones you may want to fill in with some hand picked colors, but not until you have tried a few portraits. As you go you will be saying, "I need one that is darker than this and lighter than that." When this happens make a note to yourself including color patches from the two that you need a pastel between, so you will know what to get when you go shopping.

Hope this helps, Kim

<<My question is, will I ever be a good pastelist if I don't know the names of all the colors. So far, I own not even 1/4 of the number most professionals possess and have no idea of the names, especially after the wrapers are gone!>>

Katherine J
01-06-2001, 04:09 PM
Gloria & Kim
Thanks for your comments, suggestions and encouragement. I'm interested in this topic because I'm entering a piece in a self-portrait exhibit in Vancouver this spring, but my entry (only 7.5" x 9.5") has to be submitted Jan. 15! They provide paper and you can use any 2-minensional medium. I decided to try pastel and just paste my paper on theirs. Anyway, I'm having fun experimenting right now with the 80 or so colours I have, using lots of purples, burnt sienna, raw sienna, gold ochre, burnt umber, pinks, and other colors I don't have the names of. Now, if I can just shorten up that too-long face and nose! Sorry I don't have a scanner, so can't let you see this piece.
Katherine

gmc
01-06-2001, 04:21 PM
Oh Katherine all my best to you. Please let us know how you do. We'll be rooting for you. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

tammy
01-07-2001, 11:16 PM
A wonderful Portrait. I wish I could do near as well.

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Tammy-Painter in waiting

Katherine J
01-07-2001, 11:21 PM
Gloria,
Nice to know someone's rooting for me. However, I have to admit, you don't have to be Degas to get into this exhibition - anyone who does a self-portrait and pays the fee gets in! We had one of these shows here where I live last year and it's really fun to see what people do. Some do theirs in the style of a certain artist, eg. Matisse. Right now mine looks like the yellow peril, but the exhibition curators seem to like off-the-wall stuff!