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Verdaccio
10-25-2001, 02:20 PM
This is a commission. The first of two kids done in charcoal. Her name is Masha. The client wants me to add some color to the eyes and cheeks using pastels over the charcoal - kind of like a hand colored photograph. I am apprensive about doing that fearing to screw up my work.

Anyone ever done pastels with charcoal? Can you post anything I can see as an example? I am going to do some samples on copies to see what the effect will be.

http://www.fineportraitsinoil.com/Masha-Charcoal450.jpg

MarshaSavage
10-26-2001, 07:21 AM
This is an absolutely fabulous portrait! I'm sure as accomplished as you are, you have used workable fixative?

I am a pastel artist - and rarely use the stuff, but I do have to use it sometimes, when overworking a mistake that has been corrected. It does work wonderfully! It does have its good points - One of which is the fact that you can spray the charcoal and then work on top of it without the fear of smudging it. Many pastel artists first create in charcoal - especially figure studies - and then spray with the workable fixative and start painting on top of that with their pastels. If you haven't done this before, try a small one first to learn how it goes before working on your wonderful portrait. Let us know what you do and also post us your results.

Again, wonderful work! Can't wait to see the finished one.

Marsha --
Marsha Hamby Savage Art (http://marshasavage.artistnation.com)

Verdaccio
10-26-2001, 09:41 AM
Hello Marsha! Thanks for the comments and advice. Yes, I do use workable fixative and plan to here as well. To my mind, pastels and charcoal are two different mediums that don't necessarily go together - "Hey, you got charcoal in my pastel"...."and you got pastel in MY charcoal!" I am going to try to talk the client out of it and hope for the best if I she decides she wants it anyway. Practice boards a plenty!

Anna Marie
10-26-2001, 05:47 PM
I love the picture and think it would spoil the atmosphere if you coloured it in anyway.

I would love to be able to work in charcoal and produce something of that quality!

But as they say where there is a will there is a way !

Sandi
10-27-2001, 07:30 PM
*sigh* What a gorgeous drawing!!
I've used charcoal, but it smears gawdawful. But, I'm not a black using person, except for charcoals, so it was prolly just me. It dirties the pastel colors for me. Someone like Bruin could prolly make it sing when it mixes.
My advice? Practice on some gawdawful charcoal drawings first. If you don't have any, I can spare you a few thousand of mine. :D

LDianeJohnson
10-28-2001, 07:23 PM
Verdaccio

You can certainly use pastel with charcoal, however, (and I am being very subjective here) I would not recommend it on this portrait. Charcoal can be used with pastel, but generally it is used as the base drawing, lightly sprayed with fixative, then pastel is applied. But you can paint with pastel as others have suggested with a bit of fixative to hold the charcoal first to prevent "mud".

You started and finished this portrait based on planning and drawing in charcoal. The client has asked you to do something to this piece after the fact. If they had asked to make a minor adjustment in b/w that is another story. But they've asked you to change the nature of THIS portrait. The soft, richness that charcoal alone offers is a totally different look from that of color, or even a black & white pastel.

If they would like color, I would start again and incorporate the color as part of the original painting plan, not include color as an afterthought. Besides, this piece is superb as it is, and adding color would not make it better. In fact, you risk obliterating your work, especially if you have not used pastel over charcoal before.

Another consideration is the surface you used. If you created this piece on paper appropriate to both charcoal as well as pastel that would be ok. However, if the paper is best for charcoal and not as good for pastel, again, you'd be taking a risk.

If you elect to do this piece over again (oh my) then I would recommend using the full-range of pastel sticks in gray (in lieu of charcoal) along with the slight tinting in areas that the client would like.

Wishing you all the best whichever way you go. Marvelous job!

max nelson
10-29-2001, 07:53 PM
Verdaccio

I couldn't agree more with the previous post and especially the one by Artistry about altering such a well done peice. It would be as much sacrilege as painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. One only has to view one of those TV commercials in black and white with a spot of color to stand out to know how incongorous it would look. Great work, and don't alter it. Max:mad:

P.S. It has been said that the camel was designed by a committee! Your client should be thrilled with such a marvelous portrait.

Verdaccio
10-30-2001, 09:38 AM
Thanks to everyone for your replies and support. I have, I believe, managed to talk the client out of altering this with color on the phone, but have to convince her yet in person.

Artistry, you are dead on about having to start over - that is the argument I am using with her.

LDianeJohnson
10-30-2001, 10:21 AM
Michael,

Please let us know how you make out. This is a good learning experience for all of us. I appreciate you letting us go through this process with you.

Diane

Victor
11-04-2001, 02:49 PM
This is a great portrait. If you are so brilliant with a piece of charcoal then think what you can do with a full set of pastels. Re do it in pastel and I agree with all the comments here so far.
A brilliant piece of art. I hope to be able to do half as well some day. :clap:

Victor

Emsal
11-04-2001, 04:52 PM
I only joined this site today and have thus far posted one picture, whisch I was quite pleased with, but after seeing this picture...well, my jaw hit the keyboard!! This is kinda like Peewee Herman offering bodybuilding advice to Arnold Schwarznegger but what I do is totall fix the base drawing and then colour over the top, which is what I did with Don Johnson, and if everything goes pear-shaped I can erase the colour and not have damaged the original. Best wishes, and my aim is to be as good as you!

Verdaccio
11-13-2001, 10:45 PM
Just an update:

I talked the client out of doing the pastel coloring!

And, here is the second portrait - Austin, Masha's little brother:

http://www.fineportraitsinoil.com/Austin-Charcoal-450.jpg

LDianeJohnson
11-14-2001, 08:08 AM
Michael,

Congratulations! And oh, what a cutie this little fellow is. Nice, consistent work. Thanks for letting us know about your client progress.

Emsal
11-14-2001, 02:56 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Verdaccio
Just an update:

[b]I talked the client out of doing the pastel coloring!

Sorry, mate, it was just a suggestion.

Verdaccio
11-14-2001, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by Emsal
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Verdaccio
Just an update:

[b]I talked the client out of doing the pastel coloring!

Sorry, mate, it was just a suggestion.

Emsal:

Thanks for the suggestion and the comments. Per my previous comments, I really didn't want to do the pastel over the charcoal - but I definately appreciate your and other's suggestions and advice! :)

Be well,

Michael

Anna Marie
11-14-2001, 04:41 PM
My God you are good!
Please, please tell me how you get charcoal to look soft and delcate like this!!

I am begging!

Verdaccio
11-14-2001, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Anna Marie
My God you are good!
Please, please tell me how you get charcoal to look soft and delcate like this!!

I am begging!

No need to beg, just ask! :) I use both vine charcoal and General's Charcoal Pencils. I blend with bristle brushes. That is really about it. Hope that helps!

Anna Marie
11-14-2001, 05:17 PM
You have done it I am going to have a bash! last Time I used Charcoal I looked like a Coal Miner.
I will either be posting something I am pleased with or a photo of how I ended up and maybe I'll make me the artwork!