View Full Version : wde 6-19 silly faces

06-20-2004, 10:12 PM
I loved all the colours in the photo. I didn't really get a likeness, but I had fun with this anyway. Can't seem to get the tongue right, though.

I'm still very new to soft pastels, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I used soft pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes paper 8x12 (rough side, unfortunately)


06-20-2004, 11:07 PM
Welcome Michelle

I think your photo/ scan ( ?) itself is a little dark but the image is a charmer and I think you did beautifully ! You really captured her expression and personality. You even got the tounge to look real instead of like a flat sausage. LOL. Your colors are spot on too.

If you want some great advice and critique from the masters, post this in the Pastel Forum as well.

Awesome work ! :clap:

06-20-2004, 11:20 PM
I too think the image may be a little dark, but it looks like a good painting nontheless. The skin colors, expression, and fun seem to well done.

06-20-2004, 11:55 PM
Thanks, Lisilk and Deano! :)

I'm glad to hear the fun part of it shows. That face of hers kept making me smile all the while that I was working it.

I agree, the earlier photo (from my digital camera) was a bit dark. I'm now attaching the scanned version, which I think is too light, but it shows more detail on it. The colours are much more vivid on the real thing.


06-21-2004, 12:08 AM
You captured the little girl being silly expression. Impressive for someone new to pastels. I think you are well on your way to mastering the medium. Lisilk is right. WC is a great place to learn how to use various materials, including pastels.

06-21-2004, 12:45 AM
Michelle, you did a great job. She is so cute and you have achieved a wonderful expression on her face. Really awesome work! :clap: :clap:

06-21-2004, 07:24 AM
Hi Michelle,

You have captured the spirit of this little girl's silly face. I think your likeness is pretty close. One suggestion I will make is her lips should be a cooler red, so they're closer in color to her tongue rather than her vest...then she won't look like she's wearing lipstick.

Kathy ;)

06-21-2004, 08:04 AM
That rough side Canson can be so annoying. A tortillion or something can help push the pastel into those holes.
This looks very good, especially if you're new to soft pastels. And if you haven't already posted it in the Pastels Forum, I know they'd love to see it and you'll get some great advice.

06-21-2004, 08:41 AM
This is wonderful, good color choices, and you've captured her expression. I work in pastels also, but have not done portraits in them so don't feel qualified to give you any hints. However, it doesn't really look like you need them. I agree, cross post in the soft pastel forum and some of the portrait painters can give you more hints.

06-21-2004, 11:45 AM
Thank you so much for all of your encouraging responses! I was a bit hesitant to post my work at first as I'm still trying to find my way around with colours. I just started in pastels about a month ago. Before then, I've worked mainly in graphite, so switching to colour was an enormous step for me.

Kathy, I'll try out the cooler red and let you know how it goes. I'll have to lift off the old lip colour since that area's already pretty saturated.

Wendy, thanks for the hint about the tortillon. I never thought of using that. Yeah, those darn dots are annoying especially when working with skin. I don't really like working on the rough side of the Canson paper, but I didn't realize I had the wrong side up until I've already slapped on the first colour!

If anyone knows how to make the water look more realistic, please let me know. I wasn't very successful at getting some depth into the background.


06-21-2004, 12:36 PM
You did a great job - the drawing has loads of character and it looks like you had fun with it!

I don't have the photo in font of me but I think some darks, especially as you go further back, will help the water.


06-21-2004, 01:44 PM
Cute little button - nicely done :)

06-21-2004, 02:50 PM
As much as we appreciate and depend on electronic imaging, it never quite seems to have just the right amount of light or contrast. Try using the software of your scanner, It has helped me more with scanned paintings than Photoshop does. This is charming and the distant trees are fine, maybe the water needs something but I can't help there.

Charlie's Mum
06-21-2004, 02:59 PM
Hi Michelle, and welcome to WDEs.
This is very charming, you've captured her 'cheekyness' very well. :)
I think you just need to lose some of the intensity of colour in your background - ariel perspective normally means everything moves towards a bluer/greyer tone in the distance and that concentrates the colour and attention on the subject.
Hope this helps a little - you obviously are very capable in the drawing department!!!!!! :)

06-21-2004, 03:37 PM
I love it -- your shadows, highlights, and colouring in the face are fantastic. You've captured her likeness. Your overall painting is lovely! I can't wait to show Sarah a "portrait" of herself -- she'll love it also. She was really hoping someone would paint one of the photos with her in it. She's actually 13 now, but - yes - she was a real "ham" back then. Thanks again for participating this weekend.

06-21-2004, 03:43 PM
Glad you joined us. I also have worked in graphite and have recently started working in color. I have been experiementing with artists crayons and colored pencil.

This is a great place to do that type of experimentation and get your feet wet with a new medium.

This came out quite nice. I especially like the hair.


06-21-2004, 06:03 PM
I think you did a great job on capturing her likeness and silliness...it's a fun painting. I am trying this one as well and am also trying it in soft pastels(new to me, too)....you've done a better job than I am doing :rolleyes:

Charlies Mom gave you good advice about the background...you don't want it to distract from the main subject, so softer, lighter and slightly out of focus, is the way to go.

06-21-2004, 10:52 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'm saving all your wonderful suggestions for future reference.

I did change the lip colour to a more purplish shade of red and it worked beautifully! The lip colour doesn't clash with the tongue now. Unfortunately, my sis took her scanner back so I can't really show the change here.

Other than the lip colour, I'm leaving this piece as is. I'm afraid that changing too many things would take away some of the sponteneity in it. I kind of like it the way it is right now - flaws and all. Perfection can wait another day.

Joy, I hope Sarah enjoyed this painting as much as I enjoyed working on it. Your daughters are just lovely. I hope you host the wde again someday so we can see more of them here!

Maureen, you're right that the trees take some of the attention away from the face. I did make the trees near the horizon more of a bluish colour, but I guess I forgot to make them paler/duller.

Lorna, I visited your website and your works are absolutely gorgeous! I look forward to seeing your take on the same reference photo! :)


06-21-2004, 11:40 PM
Boy, you tackled one of the ones I would never have dared to! Did good with it, too! Lots of fun and it's not easy to capture expressions like that without it coming out way too....too....if you know what I mean. She looks great and I think all the water needs is darkening a bit maybe. It would help keep focus on her as the subject too. I'm amazed this is your first pastel...by all means, post this in the pastel studio section and some of the great folks there can help you more; we have some truly amazing portraitists in there!

06-22-2004, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the input, Sooz! I was afraid to put too much dark in the water in case I ruined the entire painting. Next time, I will be braver! :)

This isn't really my first pastel.. more like my 8th, I think. And most of my previous attempts at pastel were portraits, so I've gotten a bit of practice at painting faces before this one. The background, however, gave me the most trouble. I don't know how to work with water or trees, so I wasn't able to make either of them very convincing.


06-23-2004, 12:35 PM
Your previous portrait work shows- this is just the most delightful happy/silly little girl face !!! :clap: :clap: I think you've done a bang-on job on her likeness, and the colours on her skin contours are wonderful. The water is a trickier situation, but I noticed on the lake I live nearby that the furthest distance away, not reflecting anything but sky, is very light, with the darks being closer to the viewer. It's never the same colour across it's breadth even on the stillest days. I think you will be totally comfortable with your new-to-you medium very, very soon !! :) :)

06-24-2004, 12:47 AM
Thanks, dabblerdot! I noticed in the reference photo that the water is indeed darker closer to the girl and lighter nearer to the horizon. But the waves and those lilypads made it a big tougher to reproduce. I guess I'll have to keep practicing water and trees to get the hang of this.

I don't know how quickly I'd get comfortable working with pastels... probably would take years. I love working in my new medium (pastels), but it's tough trying to learn on my own. I still haven't gotten the hang of how to mix colours. Warm and cool versions of the same colour confuse me like crazy, but I think it's beginning to make some sense now (sort of).


06-26-2004, 04:48 AM
I love your portrait of the cheeky face. You captured the spirit of the girl tremendously well. Soft pastels work very well for you. :clap: