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Moises Menendez
07-03-2017, 08:28 AM
I am reading more about the great artist John Singer Sargent and in one of the website I read he disliked pastel, it seemed to him too artificial, or else it was made to look like oil or watercolor, and in that case why not use oil or watercolor? So I decided to try to paint with pastel one of his works. The name is Leon Delafosse, a young pianists of the 19th century. Although I have not finished it I would like to share this work that was done on a Masonite board, 12X16, treated with toned gesso, and sanded it with a fine sandpaper. I used the small foam applicators of Panpastel, pencil pastels, hard and soft pastels, and for the lights and highlights some touch of Roche pastels. I tried to do this work as painterly as possible by using the very soft pastels. C&C are welcomed.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2017/1071012-LEON.jpg

DAK723
07-03-2017, 09:43 AM
This is excellent! I guess Sargent should have given pastels a try!

Don

water girl
07-03-2017, 12:20 PM
Nicely done!

stapeliad
07-03-2017, 12:37 PM
Very nice!

Charles Perera
07-03-2017, 12:42 PM
It is a beautiful painting with all the characteristics of a classical oil painting. Congratulations Moises.

Charles

Kathy1234
07-03-2017, 01:31 PM
Nice

Moises Menendez
07-03-2017, 02:10 PM
Thank you all for the comments but I was disappointed when I found out Sargent's thoughts about Pastel paintings. However, he was aware of another great American painter: Mary Cassatt. I feel Pastel painting is at the same level as the oil painting!
I will continue working on this painting and see what happens.
Thank you all again!

Donna T
07-03-2017, 05:29 PM
That sure looks like a Sargent! Did you make your toned gesso or is it something you bought? I like the look of your painting surface very much and have to get up the nerve to try painting on Masonite.

Moises Menendez
07-03-2017, 07:08 PM
Thank you Donna. Since I have no time to prepare my own gesso I bought a couple of primer containers already toned with a middle value and applied to the Masonite board at least three layers using a brush in different directions and then sand it with a fine sandpaper. The advantage of this technique is that the canvas is rigid and ready to be framed without using matting. Also this portrait is still taking more layers of pastel even the hard pastels! Other people use Gatorboard or even Aluminum boards.
I also convert the reference photo into black and white to be sure than the values are correct.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2017/1071012-GESSO.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2017/1071012-Leon_BW.jpg

contumacious
07-03-2017, 10:43 PM
Very nicely rendered. Working on handmade textured grounds can be exciting. You can produce a look that can't be achieved on flat sanded paper.

Moises Menendez
07-04-2017, 08:52 AM
Thank you for the comments. You are right since the layers of gesso or primer give the texture to the canvas. No wonder some pastel artists love the boards, and at the end they are cheaper to make. Despite many layers of pastel on this work I am able to apply even more soft and hard pastel strokes.

Moises Menendez
07-05-2017, 06:44 AM
I finally finished this interesting portrait and I enjoyed the process how this great artist was able to do his portraits using oil and water color. I made few subtle changes and worked mainly on the values. It is also interesting that Sargent's technique started with the application of oil on the middle tones and not on the darks, which is the customary way to apply color/value to a portrait.
So I looked at a good number of his portraits and I noticed that he spent very little efforts to apply oils to the mid tones (It may be my imagination!), whereas he applied strong values to the darks and the lights.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2017/1071012-LEON.jpg

Donna T
07-05-2017, 10:14 AM
Thanks for sharing your process and all that you learned about Sargent, Moises. The portrait sure has a Sargent feel!

Moises Menendez
07-05-2017, 01:52 PM
Thank you Donna.

artsask
07-10-2017, 02:25 AM
Really nice portrait.

Moises Menendez
07-10-2017, 02:03 PM
Thank you Artsask.

Divasin
07-13-2017, 07:47 AM
Beautifully done...amazing technique!

Moises Menendez
07-13-2017, 05:05 PM
Thank you Leslie. I am practicying pastel using painterly strokes like Sargent used to paint, but for now only using soft pastels. Later on I may upgrade to oil painting.

RainySea
07-13-2017, 06:16 PM
beautiful work

JustinM
07-13-2017, 06:29 PM
Thank you all for the comments but I was disappointed when I found out Sargent's thoughts about Pastel paintings. However, he was aware of another great American painter: Mary Cassatt. I feel Pastel painting is at the same level as the oil painting!
I will continue working on this painting and see what happens.
Thank you all again!

Remember that while Sargent was brilliant - one of my all time favourite artists - he was also very very opinionated. If you read "Advice on Painting from John Singer Sargent" which includes interviews with some of his students, you see that he had very strict "rules" on what one should and shouldnt do.

I wouldnt put too much stock in what he did and didnt like about a particular medium. As brilliant as he was, it was still simply his opinion. Your painting is lovely.

JustinM
07-13-2017, 06:31 PM
Later on I may u̶p̶g̶r̶a̶d̶e̶ to oil painting.

Switch, you mean. No medium is an 'upgrade' on another ;)

Moises Menendez
07-13-2017, 08:19 PM
Justin, Rainysea
Thank you for your comments. BTW, I really meant upgrading myself from the basic drawings using pencils and charcoal, then learning values, and followed by ink drawings, then Pastel, and finally oil, which I did before without knowing about values. I have gained more experience and I feel I can try oil in the future.

michaeljarman
07-16-2017, 10:19 AM
Love it!

Moises Menendez
07-17-2017, 05:44 AM
Thank you Michael.