View Full Version : Looking Back

08-04-2013, 04:01 PM
Here's a portrait I've recently done from a RIL photo (as usual saved it a while back and didn't make a note of the photographer's name :o )
It's 11x8" approx. on reclaimed pastelmat.
C&C most welcome as first I thought it was one of my best and now I'm not so sure.......
Oh, I did it with my new portrait set of Girault pastels which I won in last month's PGE competition. I LOVE those pastels, they're brilliant for portraits! I did have to use some others though to supplement the mainly brown shades in the set. Who can do a portrait without blues, greens, violets.......


Kathryn Wilson
08-04-2013, 04:04 PM
Don't doubt yourself - it's beautiful! The skin tones are spot on.

08-04-2013, 04:30 PM
Ruthie this is fabulous. I agree with Kat. Lovely skin tones. Keep doing portraits. very nice.

08-04-2013, 04:31 PM
lots of impact with the scale to the frame and the value contrast !

- possible issue about her right eye ;
the downturn of the upper lid at the outer corner seems to make the eye shorter in comparison to the left
and more sunken compared to the head outline + the highlights ...

interesting use of green - brings the features forward !


08-04-2013, 05:08 PM


08-04-2013, 06:24 PM
WOW! It is abs wonderful! Love the comp & colors!


08-04-2013, 07:21 PM
I think this is very striking - lovely light and colours :)


08-04-2013, 07:36 PM
I haven't looked at very many portraits on here, but this is easily the best one I've seen so far. I could look at it for hours! Your colors are beautiful!

08-04-2013, 09:20 PM
This is just beautiful; and I love how you've used the complementary greens & reds. The greens are perfect in the skin tones and the lips! Hadn't noticed anything about the eyes until Ed mentioned it. If it were mine I might change the red shape (clothing) at shoulder and include more of that beautiful skin you've painted. To me feels as though the shoulder is coming forward a bit. Wonderful piece; be very proud of it :)

08-05-2013, 01:16 AM
It is gorgeous she has such sparkle and life to her. Doubt no more!

08-05-2013, 05:15 AM
Kathryn, Thanks! I know it's good, for me, but I need to be better!!

Derek dear, Thank you! I'll keep doing portraits for sure.

Ed, thanks for your observations. Of course that eye turns away from us so the shape we see isn't the same as the other. However, I will look at that area again. It may be the harsh line at the corner or it may be I have a tad too much width on that side of the face.

Thanks Don!

Thanks Michelle! The photo was a close crop so I cropped it even closer. The colours were decided on by the green background of the failed painting this went on top of!

Nicole, Thank you! light and colour in a portrait are very important things to me.

APB, Thanks! You should look at more. There are some really beautiful portraits shown on here!

NRC, Thank you! I was quite happy with the greens too, although they're bolder than I usually use. You are right about the shoulder shape. I'll work on that some more.

Jen, Thanks my friend! You are the only one who has given this a gender! And you're right, it's a woman. On another forum people thought it was a man....and they have a point.....

08-05-2013, 05:18 AM
Fabulous !

08-05-2013, 08:40 AM
Lovely! Green goes well with the background besides adding complementary interest-

08-05-2013, 12:27 PM
What a fabulous portrait, the skin tones are superb, the eyes look so alive. You certainly know how to put those colors together to make skin look the best I've ever seen. Oh well, I can dream about painting this well. :envy:

08-05-2013, 02:24 PM
For me this is definitely a woman and this portrait is simply brilliant!! You're a true artist.

08-05-2013, 05:12 PM
Thanks a lot Toniov and Shireesh!

Purple. Wow what a compliment! Thank you!

Himwara. Thank you so much!

08-05-2013, 10:23 PM
When I opened this I said "wow". I am so impressed. This shows outstanding skill. Pam

08-05-2013, 10:30 PM
Geeeez Ruthie! I am so very impressed with every new thing you do!!

08-06-2013, 12:36 AM
You've truly captured an expression here Ruthie, very special. I do see something with her right eye, but regardless you've managed to portray a deepness in those eyes that is undeniable. Don't loose that while you tweak, it's brilliant. The shoulder should be an easy fix for you I am sure. Outstanding work!

Peter Forster
08-06-2013, 11:01 AM
All of your work is tremendous, and this especially so. The subtlety in her smile is so cleverly done. I learn from most posts in this forum and there are many pointers for me here. Thank you for sharing.

08-06-2013, 12:08 PM
Thanks Pam and Mark!
Chris, Thank you. I have worked on tweaking the eye and changing the shoulder but it's too dull for a good photo at the moment.
Peter, Thank you! Stick around, you'll learn loads from this site. I have. By the way I sent you a private message the other day. Check your inbox if you haven't seen it yet.

John Palmer Fine Art
08-06-2013, 12:09 PM
This is really terrific Ruthie, congratulations!

08-06-2013, 02:05 PM
Difficult to find more superlatives to add to all those before me have said, simply brilliant Ruthie.

08-06-2013, 03:21 PM
Thank you John! Hope to see some new work from you soon maybe?
Thanks very much Jim!

Lorraine Paris
08-07-2013, 09:34 AM
Excellent work!

John Palmer Fine Art
08-07-2013, 01:30 PM
I've been working mostly on wildlife recently Ruthie, not sure if there is much of an appetite for the subject here.

08-07-2013, 03:32 PM
> just a tech thought ...
a putty can be pointed up to lift pigment - a daub and re-shape ;
tedious , but clean .
it also reduces the saturation/density of crystals with each daub ...


08-07-2013, 05:29 PM
Thank you Lorraine!

John, I'll have a look in the animal and wildlife forum then shall I? True we don't see much wildlife in the pastel forum but yours is pretty special IMO.

Ed, thanks for the tip. On my sanded paper I prefer to use a couple of gentle dibs with my trusty stencil brush to remove excess pigment, even in a small area and if I need to push it in further I will use a pastel pencil as a blending tool. Never did get on with putty erasers...too impatient!

John Palmer Fine Art
08-08-2013, 08:06 AM
Thanks Ruthie, I'll post my next one here!

08-09-2013, 04:24 AM
Ruthie, this is outstanding! Fantastic use of colours and the expression on her face is just great!:clap:

08-09-2013, 09:36 AM
John, I'll look out for it!

Dorothea, Thank you!

I've done the tweaking, altered the shoulder and the edge of the face. I believe it was too wide, although for some reason I seem to have binned the photo :o

So here's the final. Thanks to everyone for your input and comments :wave:


mr sad
08-20-2013, 09:18 PM
I don't usually care for pastel portraiture, but this is top-notch.

08-21-2013, 05:39 AM
Why thank you Paul!