View Full Version : Baby Elizabeth in Oil Pastel
12-13-2003, 11:48 PM
I've been working on a portrait of my daughter Elizabeth when she was about 7 months old. Had some struggles with this and am still not happy with it, but I learned a lot. One of the biggest problems was getting shadow colors and lip color right, couldn't seem to get it and just gave up! The good news is that this will be the last portrait I do with the cheapie oil pastels, I just got a whole set of Caran D'ache!!!! Can't wait to break them out. Any c & c would be very helpful. Thanks for looking! x-posted in portraiture.
Just to let you know: my scanner acts up sometimes, the photo of the baby did not have those lines of light on her, it looks like she was in front of some vertical blinds, but she's really not!
12-14-2003, 05:05 AM
Excellent work........ just imagine what you will do with an upgrade in Oil Pastels....... your baby daughter is beautiful, and you got the likeness so spot on, you did such a beautiful job ..... the only thing...... this is purely personal, is that Im not too keen on the colour paper background, its too much like her skin tones....... I like the darkness of the background in the photo, as it gives her a softness, that I love to seem with babies
Excellent work non the less, and look forward to see what you will do in the future
You did an excellent job on this portrait! Definitely nailed the likeness.
Even her little shirt looks awesome! Very nice attention to detail.
12-14-2003, 10:48 AM
Thanks so much for your comments Dark Shades! I agree, a background would really improve this. I'm new to this color stuff, usually work in graphite, so backgrounds are scary to me. I did want to put in a background after I finished it, so I looked in a portrait book I have from the library for ideas. The author recommended not putting in a background after finishing, said it changes the color and value relationships. He said to paint the background when you first start. I was kind of relieved, thinking, oh good, now I don't have to deal with that! In a way, I'm still tempted to try it on this. But I will definitely be thinking about it for my next portrait.
Kimo, thanks for your encouragement! I really enjoy working with the oil pastels, and can't wait to start a new one.
This likeness is right on!! Can live with the background...it's very hard to push those colors in right....I would think about toning the ears down a hair...a judgement call that is dif from the ref but would keep attention on the face. A light blur of the line at the bottom of the lower lip would soften it to that still forming look that babies have...great job tho...these are TINY nitpicks! Oooh, have fun with those Caran d'Aches! I'm having to pop mine out to use with the Holbeins..they have shades the others don't...especially in the ochre family and there's an earth toned green and maroon red to die for! Have fun!!!
The author recommended not putting in a background after finishing, said it changes the color and value relationships. He said to paint the background when you first start. I was kind of relieved, thinking, oh good, now I don't have to deal with that! In a way, I'm still tempted to try it on this. But I will definitely be thinking about it for my next portrait.
The author is so right, it's always best to paint your background as you are painting your subject. Choosing a coloured paper that will compliment the skin tones is another way if you are shy of painting backgrounds, I recommend you look at some of Soap's portraits and study her use of backgrounds, you will see how well she chooses her colours to compliment her subject.
12-14-2003, 02:00 PM
Gosh if you can do this with the el-cheapo pastels, imagine how you're gonna get on with the artist quality ones! Excellent work.
12-14-2003, 07:25 PM
Dyin, thanks so much for your comments! I already broke out the Caran D'ache and can see a huge difference between them and the cheapie ops. Can't wait to get started on them!
Thanks for that tip about Soap's portraits, Mo. I love how she does the backgrounds on her portraits, it's good to see examples like that.
Carol, thanks for your encouragement! Now my kids will get to use the cheapie OPs and I'm on to the bigger and better stuff.
12-14-2003, 07:55 PM
Eileen, Once again I'm blown away by the detail and quality of your work. There is no question who this child is when looking back and forth from photo to the artwork.
Give yourself an ol pat on the back and keep going.
Thanks for sharing!
12-14-2003, 08:19 PM
What a wonderful likeness...you did a terrific job.
I can't advise about oil pastels but it looks like you did a good job. I actually like the yellow just fine. It works well with the pink flowers and the pink lips...it makes her kind of sunny and bright.
But...look around at other portraits and see what people have done with backgrounds. Yep...Soapt's are great and there are lots of other terrific portrait people here, including Barb.
12-15-2003, 08:38 AM
How did you enjoy the OP's compared to the soft pastels?
I've tried both... like both... but the OP's are my fav.
12-15-2003, 10:55 AM
Wow the likeness is uncanny, it is so exact. Good Job! :clap:
12-15-2003, 09:19 PM
Barb, thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement!
Sandy, thanks and you are right about the great portrait people here, I am learning so much from them!
Rosic, thanks! I've never used soft pastels, was concerned about having the dust around in the house with three children underfoot. So I went straight to the oil pastels and I love them! It may sound strange, but I'm used to working in graphite, and I think oil pastels are very similar to graphite in certain ways. I blend them with a tortillion, and I can "erase" any errors by scraping it off and going over it. And they blend so nicely! I think I've found my medium here.
Liz, I see you all over the place, you must hang out at all the same forums I do! Thanks for the encouragement, Liz, I appreciate it.
12-16-2003, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by eileenclaire
I went straight to the oil pastels and I love them! It may sound strange, but I'm used to working in graphite, and I think oil pastels are very similar to graphite in certain ways. I blend them with a tortillion, and I can "erase" any errors by scraping it off and going over it. And they blend so nicely! I think I've found my medium here.
Know what you mean! Congrats on your merit badge!
12-16-2003, 11:09 AM
Rosic, you are so sweet to notice, I was so excited to get the badge, I'm having lots of fun here at WC!!
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