View Full Version : for those who asked for a demo...

01-08-2002, 12:12 AM
I took my camera to class with me today and tried to remember to take progress pics. I'm using pastels on tan Canson paper, about 14 x 18".

I want the focal area to be the light side of the face. I positioned myself so that my view placed the light side of the face next to the dark background. That way I could have the lightest light and darkest dark together. Going from right to left, I will have a large darkest dark (DD), then the lightest light (LL), then a transition area of medium values, then another DD, and another medium dark.

I also like to have the figure/background relationship flip from light figure against dark ground (right side) to dark figure against light ground (left side).

01-08-2002, 12:23 AM
Continuing to refine the shapes and values ... I have added a lighter value to further define the light side, and medium values to the shadow side. I'm trying to establish the BIG shapes, and not get too much into details yet.

01-08-2002, 12:28 AM
I keep on adjusting the shapes and values until they begin to look like the model.

01-08-2002, 12:29 AM
Next I really punched the LL's to see how the contrast is going to work.

01-08-2002, 12:32 AM
All this value work has been done with much smoothing and blending. I'm going to add more color now and want to be able to layer it some, so this "underpainting" is very thin and rubbed-in as I go.

Next I find some colors in the shadows of the face. There's deep red and dark olive-green and dark blue in the darkest areas, and I've put those in and added them to the background as well.

01-08-2002, 12:39 AM
Now comes the fun part... warms and cools. The light is a very warm pinkish color, and there are greenish fluorescent lights in the room as well, which affect the shadow colors. I find the richest warmest colors right where the light and shadow areas meet.

There's a light crescent formed by the cheekbone under the eye on the shadow side, but it's not as light as the LL side of the face. It's also much cooler in color temperature.

01-08-2002, 12:45 AM

01-08-2002, 12:46 AM
and more... went back and punched up the highlights some. Notice the warm highlights in the hair on the light side and cool ones on the dark side.

01-08-2002, 12:48 AM
As far as I could get with it, ran out of time...

max nelson
01-08-2002, 01:29 AM
Ruth..thanks for taking the effort to post this demo. I am always amazed when watching a competent artist work and the bravery of blocking in the form, then finding the likeness. I've only done a couple of pastels and get very timid once I have established the drawing. And if I do manage to get some semblance of the model do not have the courage to 'damage' this hard fought effort. You make it look like a cake walk..and I know it's not. I am not much of a colorist and understand your warm vs. cool color..but I have trouble differentiating some of the bolder colorations in pastels. The 'warms' look cool to me. Guess I just haven't developed much color sense.
Very nice work.
:) Max

01-08-2002, 01:50 PM
Ruth!.....thank you, thank you, thank you!

This is wonderful...to watch this being built up (actually, it's more like she emerges!)

I learned a ton! I have been doing it all backwards...LOL!

Thanks again!

01-08-2002, 01:59 PM
Ruth! Thanks for doing this!!! I was so happy to see this. :)


Painted Melody
01-08-2002, 03:22 PM
This is awesome, your sense of cool and warm relationships are so rich and vibrant


01-08-2002, 05:21 PM
Thanks for showing us this! It's like being there with you. I love to see the way other artists build it up. Although I never blend it makes me want to try! Great demo. :D Nora

01-08-2002, 05:52 PM
A GREAT demo, I learnt lots all well, just one small point, and its nothing to do with your painting, I just would have liked to have seen a photo of the model herself as well, never satisfied am I. :D

;) ;)

01-08-2002, 06:21 PM
Thank you everyone~ I hope it is helpful. :D

Joe, I don't have permission to post her photo. I wouldn't want to do that without asking her. You can bet she's a beauty, though.


01-09-2002, 03:01 PM
Ruth, the pastel progression was excellent! Very lovely results! It was fun to see. Thanks for posting it.

01-09-2002, 07:21 PM
Love all your stuff, Ruth. Your subjects simply GLOW.

Thanks for this.

01-09-2002, 07:37 PM
Dear Ruth,
A million thanks. I'm printing this out as we "speak". How very kind of you to do this for us. Your work is so incredibly beautiful.
BTW, I am now in a 2X Week drawing class - I LOVE it. This is figure drawing but I hope it will also help me with portraits.:clap:
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Bravo & Encore!

Katherine J
01-11-2002, 02:41 PM
Hi Ruth

Thanks so much for this wonderful demo. I'm amazed at how many layers you seem to get on Canson paper, especially with blending. Great colours.


01-19-2002, 09:13 PM
That was such a wonderful demo Ruth! The subject turns out to be gorgeous, though I would only have maybe guessed her at the start of the demo. It felt like watching her come to life! I have dabbled in pastels on walls, for kids room murals, but have none of this skill. I appreciate this "free lesson"and am going to try to incorporate it into the mural I am working on now for my grandkids playroom.