View Full Version : Pastel Portrait Challenge

bruce johnson
11-16-2006, 08:46 PM
Hi Everyone, I've just done a pastel portait WIP ... and it seemed to go quite well. I've been asked if I'd do a lesson/project for all to participate. Basically you all paint and I critique your portrait as you go...

What I would like to know is:

How many artists would be interested,

Would you prefer to paint the same ref, or paint from a ref of your own choice.. there are benefits to both ..

Is the format better as a sticky or a project

Any other comments that may be important to the process, I've never done this before...

Cheers Bruce :thumbsup:

11-16-2006, 08:56 PM
Hi Bruce,
Well I am very interested at doing this.... maybe if we have enough people interested we could all do the same portrait, then after we have had you critique our work we could all do a portrait of our own selection..... to be critiqued as well......

just an idea.

looking forwards to this !!!!!


11-16-2006, 08:57 PM
Hi Bruce!

Obviously I'm interested... count me in!

I'm thinking the same reference... I think that would be easier for you, but I'm game for whatever the majority wants.

Sticky or Project? Don't know...

I'll be staying tuned!

bruce johnson
11-16-2006, 09:11 PM
Wow!! You guys are quick... That's two... :clap:

Netty I like the idea of doing the same ref to start with.. then another where everyone chooses their own... I know there are artists lurking out there with a favorite portrait they would love to paint but have been unsure as to how to start...

I'm a little light on ref material so if participants could post likely images, I could choose a suitable one.. I'd look for something with nice sunny outdoor lighting, and a real challenge for the hair... and with high resolution..:thumbsup:

11-16-2006, 09:33 PM
I'm not sure I would participate, but as an observer I think it would be much more interesting if everyone worked from the same reference photo. Seeing the different approaches and techniques would be more clear if the same starting point was used.


bruce johnson
11-16-2006, 09:36 PM
Good point Don:thumbsup: ... be great if you joined in as well:wave:

11-16-2006, 09:47 PM
Time is at a premium for me right now, but I'd be interested in this. I also think painting from the same reference could be the way to go this time around.

bruce johnson
11-16-2006, 10:00 PM
Welcome onboard Bruce ( great name :lol: ) there is no time limit. Just progress at your own pace..I'm not going anywhere.. :thumbsup:

So far its 100% for the same ref...

Piper Ballou
11-17-2006, 12:14 AM
Okay, Bruce, you threw out the fishing net and hooked me in.......I would like the same reference for starters...
have you checked the reference library for photos?

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 01:10 AM
Hi Piper I have had a look in the ref library but there isn't anything difficult enough:evil: :evil: :lol: :lol:
Actually there maybe one or two, I may even see what I have at home... glad to have you onboard... :clap: :thumbsup:

I'm away in NZ next week on business and my internet access may be limited, so I think we should get started when I get back on the 26th Nov. Does that suit everyone...

Tomorrow I'll post my palette, and other items you may need... As far as paper choice is concerned that will be up to your own preference, I painted JON on Arches CP paper and it was great... :thumbsup:

11-17-2006, 01:24 AM
Time is at a premium for me right now, but I'd be interested in this. I also think painting from the same reference could be the way to go this time around.
ditto for me !! ... i'd love to participate and have so much to learn and this would be very very helpful and informative i'm sure ... thank you so much for your willingness to host it !!

11-17-2006, 01:33 AM
YIPPIE!!! 26th November is fine for me.......

Thanks heaps Bruce......


11-17-2006, 02:03 AM
Bruce: what a great idea! It's gonna involve an awful lot of work for you though! It's sure to be a really popular project! :) Thanks so much for your generosity in doing this for us all.

I think the idea of everyone working from the same reference is a good one; that way, we all can more easily benefit by learning from others' work, and also the feedback you give to any one person will be a learning opportunity that will probably apply our own efforts as well.

I'd like to participate...

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 02:45 AM
Hi Annie and Violet, gee we're off to a flier.. welcome to you both

I'm actually doing this for selfish reasons:evil: coz the more you guys want to know, the more I need to find the answer if I don't know, so I grow as well.... :thumbsup:

Netty, I love your enthusiasm :lol: :clap: :thumbsup:

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 03:04 AM
Here's a ref that I painted in watercolour at the beginning of the year.. some of you may remember the portrait of Julie..a close friend of my wife and I. Julie is a fun, bubbly lady and it was a great challenge to capture her spirit. Painting the hair in watercolour was a mission for sure, but i think it will be even tougher in pastel.. If you can paint this hair in pastel then I believe you can paint anything...
So what do you think.. too hard.. its been done before.. you'd prefer a man... :lol: ... Mel Gibson :lol: :lol: I'm just throwing ideas around at the moment so feel free to comment.. or post other ref's ...this is your project so lets hear those ideas


11-17-2006, 04:50 AM
I'd love to have a go, by the 26th of Nov do you mean everyone start whilst online? You see I work every Friday, Saturday and Sunday so would have to follow on behind you all.


Mary Brigid
11-17-2006, 05:13 AM
Wow Bruce what a generous man you are to do this project. :music: :music: :music: Music to my ears when I read this thread. I will participate as much as possible. Time never seems to be on my side. :crying: But I am determined to have a go. Never ever attempted a portrait before. I am useless at drawing. Sure I it will give you a giggle Bruce :lol: :lol: Julie has a wonderful face..... But gee she looks hard to do :eek:
Thank you for your generosity Bruce
Mary Brigid :wave:

11-17-2006, 05:15 AM
Good idea ! I'll give it a try. Love to do portraits in graphite. Hmmm ... am I brave enough to try one in pastels ? Who not ? I'm in.

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 05:49 AM
Wow I never dreamed I'd get this sort of response.. you folks are so keen... fabulous..:clap: :clap:

CJ no problem , I wont start the lesson until Sunday 26th and I'll work at a pace that captures everyone.. there's no rush..

this project will be designed to pass on what I've learnt to everyone, its not a race to be first finished, but a challenge to see how far you can grow within the space of one project.
The reason I like Julie as a ref is that it is a very difficult portrait to paint and once you have completed her you will have the confidence to tackle any portrait..especially the hair.. for some reason hair seems to be a lot of artists stigma but its not really that hard to paint...Also by realising in the beginning that this portrait is very difficult you will accept the challenges easier as you encounter them... I want a project that will not only challenge the more seasoned artists but also give the emerging artists an opportunity to rise to the elite level...I coach Elite sport at an Olympic level and I know that the pay factor at the end of the journey will be determined by the sacrifice and commitment you make along the way... without challenge success is flat..
Be warned there will be tears and swearing and cussing:evil: .. but i'll want to know why, so I can give you a legover the obstacle.... nothing is beyond any of you thats a promise.. :thumbsup:
Between now and Sunday I would suggest you all start practicing the line drawing.. I don't mind how you draw Julie, it can be grid , traced, freehand, projector or any other means, but it is very important that the line drawing is accurate and gives a good likeness. As I've said before, if you don't get a likeness at the drawing stage you wont find it by adding colour..

Mary I knew I'd get you involved somehow :evil: :lol:

Atelier I started with charcoal and all the techniques I use come from charcoal drawing,. only difference is I add colour :wave:

11-17-2006, 06:43 AM
Hi Bruce , as a new member of wc I would love to take part in this exercise ,I have recently completed a couple of portraits and found the experience very interesting. Will you have me along? PS I think this is a great idea. Regards Will

11-17-2006, 06:54 AM
Oh My! What went on while I slept:lol: This is just fabulous! And to think less than 24 hours ago I was wondering... do I dare suggest a lesson? Oh Bruce, this is soooo wonderful of you and the timing is perfect! I remember seeing your WIP of Julie in the Watercolor Forum and was once again amazed at your talent. This is going to be so much fun!!! I know I will definitely grow from this... this is so exciting!

Thank you so much, Bruce!
Hugs to you {{{Bruce}}}

eagle owl
11-17-2006, 07:09 AM
Hi Bruce

I love the portrait of your son so I would love to join in. I started a couple of portraits but have been painting animal portraits recently and I really want to paint people.

Looking forward to the challenge.


Piper Ballou
11-17-2006, 08:22 AM
Reference looks great, glad Julie is a good friend of yours....and I sure hope she has a great sense of humor....
looking forward to this, you will do the WIP lesson in little steps?

when we get our drawing done are we to just post it here in this thread?

Rose Baggs
11-17-2006, 08:32 AM
Hi Bruce,
That's an awesome idea. I'd love to join in. I always wanted to do people portrait in Pastels but somehow I keep find excuses for not doing it...Lol
I have a question: Do I need to have a portrait pastel set to paint along? I don't have many "flesh" colors on my sets. In fact I don't have that many pastels sticks anyways... So just let me know if maybe I should invest in a portrait set...or should buy the sticks separately... Any suggestion will be very much appreciated.
Thanks again.

Mary Brigid
11-17-2006, 08:40 AM
:lol: Move over Mona Lisa...... at this rate Julie's face is going to be far more famous.......:lol: I am trying to finnish a painting Bruce and now you tell me you expect me to practice drawing before the 26th....... :eek: You going to be a hard task master :D
Delighted you are getting such a great respose.
Mary Brigid

11-17-2006, 11:49 AM
Hi Bruce, great idea, count me in.
Julie will make an excellent subject, I only hope I can do her justice.

11-17-2006, 02:46 PM
Wow, so great to see so many people interested!!!

Bruce I am printing reference pic and running to my art draws with much anticipation...... now where is my graphite pencil and sketch pad?...........

This will be fun!!!!


11-17-2006, 05:37 PM
Bruce, I just have to say that you sound the absolute perfect kind of teacher, instructor and mentor

and what a great project you are leading here

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 07:22 PM
Wow 111 guys what goes on while I sleep... this is an amazing response.. I'm stunned...

You're more than welcome Will.. glad to have you onboard:wave: :thumbsup:

Morning Marcia.. you hugged me so tight I woke up :lol: :lol:

Hi Carol welcome to the challenge:wave:

Hi Piper yes I will start with the hair progress lock by lock, showing how I lay down the colours... it will be slowly as we go , coz I have to stop and record what I'm doing in more detail than I would in a WIP. Often I paint instinctively and can't remember what I did to get the effect that's appeared.. so I need to take more care with my own painting so that I can relate it to y'll..

Hi Rose a portrait pastel set is a good idea, I will list my colours after breakfast (Marcia's making it for me now...just kidding:lol: :lol: ) So you can buy or supplement what you already have.. THere may be other colours we need on the way, but I wont know until I really get into it.. Welcome onboard.. :wave:

Hi Paul no worries, its and exercise primarily to to understand things like colour temperature and tonal values..

:lol: :lol: Go for it Netty:clap:

Aww shucks thanks Dawn:o I'm counting on you to help me out if I get stuck... I've visited your website... mmmmmm amazing..:wave: :clap: :thumbsup:

Charles Perera
11-17-2006, 07:35 PM
Teeth are difficult to draw. Perhaps a portrait where teeth are not showing would be better. Only my suggestion. And I am rather shy to do one myself.


bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 07:39 PM
Hi Charles, yes teeth are difficult to draw thats another reason why I selected this ref... I have a technique which makes teeth a bit esier to draw.. It would be great if you joined in.. don't be shy... :wave: :clap: :thumbsup:

11-17-2006, 08:16 PM
Would it be OK if I joined in too? I like doing portraits...but rarely get the time to do one in here...much as I'd like to!!:D

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 08:29 PM
No Problem Deidre.. As long as I can understand your pommie accent :lol: :lol: Looking at all your websites I'm a bit intimidated ...we've got a high class field here folks...

11-17-2006, 08:39 PM
No Problem Deidre.. As long as I can understand your pommie accent :lol: :lol:...
Cor Blimey mate! Wot abaht yer own?:p Yewl 'ave to translate that Aussie lingo fer me an me mate Dawn!:lol: :lol: :lol:

bruce johnson
11-17-2006, 08:45 PM
:lol: :lol: I'm actually an expat Kiwi living in OZ and I don't understand them either ... we speak the queens english in NZ :lol: :thumbsup:

11-17-2006, 10:46 PM
Oh goody. A chance to learn what I am doing. My I join this lively group? I would like to know what color pastels you call portrait. I am so new to pastel I have a blank mind (DUH _ I can't believe I admitted that) so am open to whatever you can teach me.

bruce johnson
11-18-2006, 01:13 AM
Hi Midge... you're in.. welcome :wave: :wave:

Ok my pastels are.
Rembrandt pastels..
lemon yellow 205.5 205.8
Deep yellow 202.5 202.7 202.9 202.12
Light yellow 201.5 201.7 201.8
pthalo green 675.3 675.5
Olive green 620.5 620.7 620.8
Blue violet 548.5 548.7 548.8
ultramarine deep 506.3 506.5 506.7 506.9
Prussian blue 508.5
Pthalo blue 570.3 570.5 570.7 570.9
Red violet 545.5 545.7 545.8
Gold ochre 231.5 231.7 231.8
Yellow ochre 227.5 227.7 227.9
Raw sienna 234.5 234.8
Burnt Sienna 411.5 411.7 411.9
Caput mortuum Red 343.5 343.8
Indian Red 347.5 347.9
White 100.5
Permanent Red 372.5
Burnt Umber 409.5
Raw umber 408.5

I have the Rembrandt portrait pastel set, of 90 pastels there are others to the set , but the ones above are what i used for the portrait of Jon.. I may have to add a few as we go. but we should be able to get a good start with these...

It doesn't really matter if you have Rembrandts or not its the temperature of the colour that is important, I'm not sure about the names of other pastels and whether they're warm or cool,. but I'm sure there will be someone here who will know... :lol:

Also I will use rubber tipped colour shapers.. (see pic) paper blenders kneaded eraser, tisssues, wet wipes, workable spray fixative, an old sable hair watercolopur brush, a 1 inch synthetic chisel brush. tape and Arches cold pressed paper.. small piece of sandpaper or colourfix paper...


I'll add other things as i think about them during the week.. :thumbsup:

11-18-2006, 05:15 AM
:lol: :lol: I'm actually an expat Kiwi living in OZ and I don't understand them either ... we speak the queens english in NZ :lol: :thumbsup:

Ill translate for Deirdre, coz she dont :lol: :evil:
See what Bovver she drags me into......... just as well Im here to keep an eye on her :)

Bruce, Um, wots thoze two burnt things......... not sausages from your breakfast I hope lol ......

I have a set of Portrait Rembrandts, a smaller set...... personally I dont care for them and forgot I had them for about two years lol ... so I think for an experiment for myself I will try and match what I have to yours..... not sure I will have time to join in at the moment, but will be definately following what you guys are doing...

Bruce, could I just suggest, that for those who dont normally do portraits, and those whom may not have Rembrandt Portrait Pastels....... that you could post a picture of the pastels that you are using....... visually it would help alot I think ...... and they could then try to match what colours you are using....... sorry to put you to more work......

I am very interested in how you will approach the eyes, as they are so small, they more or less or only a line .......

bruce johnson
11-18-2006, 05:57 AM
Hi Dawn those two little things are my kneaded erasers, they get a bit of punishment. :lol: Actually in NZ we call them kneaded rubbers, but I understand that in the States this means something else :lol:

Be great if you can join in, I don't profess to being an expert pastellist so all your suggestions will be well received by me and our team..

I'm happy to keep the project going as long is it takes for everyone to complete their portrait so no problem.. From what I hear some folks want to keep the project going and move onto their own ref after Julie..

I'll take pics of the pastels I'm using at each step, good idea :thumbsup:

Yes the eyes, I struggled with them with watercolour but I've learnt a bit more since then and I will tackle them differently this time... I like making things hard for myself.. :lol:

Cheers Bruce

11-18-2006, 06:07 AM
ha ha ha Bruce......... Ive just been looking at your other thread.......lovely....... and its great you share so much info and tips along the way ..... Im spending hours in here lol....... and got so much to do .......
I really want to join in now, and follow you....... trouble is, am itching for this to all get started.......... and were sitting here now waiting for the rest of the world to wake up

*** Drumming Fingers....... *** .... come on people, no time to sleep...... we've got paintings to do ...... *** pacing up and down *** .... ***Drumming Fingers*** ........ ***Checking Watch***

11-18-2006, 10:18 AM
Nag nag nag nag nag!:p I'll join you !*** Drumming Fingers....... *** .... come on people, no time to sleep...... we've got paintings to do ...... *** pacing up and down *** .... ***Drumming Fingers*** ........ ***Checking Watch***
OK Bruce... One Assumes one will be putting one's high resolution photo into one's library so that one can access it with comparitive ease if one should so desire?:evil: :lol: :lol:

11-18-2006, 10:50 AM
WOW! Just got done with the breakfast dishes :lol: :lol: :lol: and look what happened. This thread is just whirling away. Awesome:clap:

Bruce, this is going to be fantastic, I can already tell. Thanks so much for posting your supplies. I have a 30 count Rembrandt Portrait set and a 90 - 1/2 stick set, but no wrappers so I don't know the color names:eek: . Have everything elso so far except for the wipes (what are those for?) and the rubber tipped color shapers. Those look quite useful. Wonder if Dick Blick can get those to me in time?

Are we to have our line drawing ready to go on the 26th:confused: Also... how many hours ahead are you of the US. I'm in the Cental Time Zone. Just curious:)

:wave: Marcia

nana b
11-18-2006, 01:12 PM
Bruce, I'm ready! Maybe this is what it will take to get me going on portraits. I've been doing still lifes and landscapes and love it but people portraits are really what I have always had a feeling for and years ago I did a few that I was even happy with. Let's go!

Thanks for sharing this with us.:wave:

nana b

bruce johnson
11-18-2006, 02:10 PM
OK OK OK steady girls,.,, start date is still a week away. coz i'm heading back to NZ for week and wont have my crayons with me.. :lol:

NOw how do i get the high resoloution pic to you all. Email??

Wipes are for cleaning my hands as i go... I'm a messy pup.. :lol:

It would be good if you could get your line drawings done... :thumbsup:

Gotta rush to airport see ya all soon..:wave:

Morris T. Howard
11-18-2006, 03:44 PM
Bruce I would like to do this, the only problem is, I'll be working on a commission during that time, however, I'll do my best to give it a try;I like challenges.:)


bruce johnson
11-18-2006, 04:11 PM
Hi Morris:wave: be great to have you along.. I think Julie will challenge most artists... and we'll be moving along at a slow pace, anyone that races ahead can start another painting with different ref.. so no one will be left waiting or lagging behind...

11-18-2006, 05:18 PM
never ever even drew a face never mind paint one......so I am going to probably be a lurker, (maybe try it while no one is looking)....is that OK??? do you have to have rembrant pastels? can you use colors close to what you suggested? thanks for doing this, it should help all of us an awful lot..

11-18-2006, 07:58 PM
I'd love to join in this challenge. I've already spent that portion of my monthly budget designated for art supplies, but I have a basic set of 24 Rembrandts. If I'm missing the ones you suggest, I'll just have to do a minimal palette version (if that's okay).

It would be really nice if this were a regular monthly event. Also, I'd personally prefer a sticky (the way the Drawing 101 classes are handled) instead of a project.

Thanks for starting this! You have no idea how much I appreciate this.

KA Obee
11-18-2006, 08:41 PM
This is a great idea! thank you so much for doing it!
I used to paint portraits of children in pastel, then had two boys of my own very close together and somehow seemed to never have the time to paint anymore! The boys are 10 & 11 now and every now and then I jump back into my painting. This will be a perfect opportunity for me to get dusty once again. I'm soooo stale! I'm thrilled you are doing this! It's a little tough to find spare moments during the holiday season - so I'll just have to think of the time I spend on this as my Christmas gift to myself.

Deborah Secor
11-18-2006, 10:33 PM
I think I may have to join in this one, too!

I'm NOT a portrait painter at all, and frankly I'd almost prefer to start with a face that looks more like a person would if posing (y'know, not smiling, no teeth--how do you paint teeth?) but I really want to learn and can't pass up the chance.

Could you post a simple pose and a more advanced one, for differing levels of experience, or is that just putting too much into the mix?

Bruce, you can post a fairly high resolution photo in the Reference Image Library and post a link to it here, so we can go in and copy it. Much more streamlined way to do it.

This should be interesting. Thanks for taking it on...


11-19-2006, 04:37 AM
It would be good if you could get your line drawings done... :thumbsup:

Gotta rush to airport see ya all soon..:wave:

Big Ol, place NZ if its gonna take him until the 26th to get back:eek: :D

Pat Isaac
11-19-2006, 08:09 AM
Hi Bruce,
I just saw this thread and I would love to try it, but I only work in oil pastel. Is that okay??


bruce johnson
11-19-2006, 10:37 PM
Hi Pequan No you don't have to use Rembrandts.. ANy pastel will do, the most important part is to get the warm and cool colours right... and the tonal values. ..simple really :lol: Don't lurk..... join in.. we don't bite , well not hard anyway:lol: :thumbsup:

Hi Alecto .. you're very welcome. monthly maybe an option if this all works out, maybe with different artists presenting.. :evil: :lol: Minimal look is fine, I'm sure 24 pastels will still give you the right effect. We can work out a way to get by when the need arrives.. :wave:

Hi KA... absolutely,.. pamper yourself:lol: It will be great to have you onboard... :wave:

Hi Deborah..wow that would be great if you joined in.. I'm sure an outstanding artist like yourself will have no problem with this project.. I've seen your work :evil: :clap: I've loaded Julie into the Ref Library.. its pending approval at this stage.. Let me know if the res is not good enough.. Its ok when I load it.. :wave:

Hi Dawn It used to be a quiet little place til they filled it with Poms :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hi Pat , I never say no... IN the words of Richard Branson.. lets just do it.. I don't know anything about oil pastels so it will be a challenge for me too.. infact I don't think I've even held an oil pastel in my hand.. I'll have to stop by at the art store and see what they feel like and make a list of the cool and warm primaries.. Welcome to the Twilight Zone :lol:

Pat Isaac
11-20-2006, 07:44 AM
Thanks, Bruce. I'm in.


11-20-2006, 09:21 PM
Ok, Bruce,
You finally got me out of WC lurkdom. :cool: I guess I am having to do this project to pass Bruce Portrait Pastels 101, huh!
Ok, I'm in.:lol:

11-21-2006, 12:44 AM
Hi Bruce,
I also saw your Julie and loved it. I would love to join in if I may. I just got a set of Holbein portrait pastels on sale and am dying to try them. Looks like I have all the colors or close anyway. I'm getting ready for an all student exhibit involving 680 kids so may lag a little. I'm looking forward to your instruction! What does it mean if it is "sticky"?

Deborah Secor
11-21-2006, 03:35 PM
Here's a link to the ref photo: Julie (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=68421&size=big&cat=55&limit=last7)


11-21-2006, 03:49 PM
Is it my imagination or is the libary ref not a great deal larger than the forum one? Not that I'm complaining...just curious!:wink2:

Rose Baggs
11-22-2006, 09:25 AM
I have a question. What size should a novice (read "me") start with? 8"x10"?
9"x12"? 11"x14"? Thanks!!!

Jo Castillo
11-24-2006, 10:01 PM
I'm a non portrait painter as well. I think I will be home and have time to try this. Thanks so much.

bruce johnson
11-25-2006, 06:09 PM
Hi guys well I'm back from NZ. Today I'll get the project started. Admin recommed that we do this as a project as it may get to big for a sticky.

I'll do my line drawing today and post it tonight.. I'll paint the first section of hair as well.. :thumbsup: :wave:

11-25-2006, 06:27 PM
Thanks Bruce! Glad you're back safe and sound! Any news on a larger ref?:D

bruce johnson
11-25-2006, 06:46 PM
Hi Pat (vangogh) welcome onboard glad to have you with us:wave:

Hi Arleenie fancy meeting you here... :lol: :wave:

Hi Pat (brock) A few Pats are always welcome:lol: A sticky is where the thread stays at the top of the pastel forum and stays for a while but can be limited in size. .. From what I understand a project shows up in a different section but will stay there for an unlimited time and can be added to whenever you like:wave:

HI Deidre a larger image has been added to the library., Just waiting for admin to approve it..

Rose I paint my portratis at 75% Real life size.. but its up to you.. I think the larger the better for a beginner as it will be easier to get the detail without getting too fiddly. :wave:

Jo welcome to the project.. great to see you :wave:

11-25-2006, 08:26 PM
Hi Bruce:wave:

Glad to see you're back... seems like you hit the ground runnin'. I know this is silly, but I feel a bit nervous about this:o I do have a question... I have this brand spankin' new set of Rembrandt Portrait pastels right here in front of me looking so beautiful and pristine. From what I hear I am to break them:eek: and take the papers off:eek: OK, I guess I can stand to break them, but if I take the wrappers off how do I know the names of the colors?? Probably a dumb question but...

Have my line drawing done and transferred... all ready to go... (gulp) I guess:D :D :D


11-25-2006, 10:47 PM
Hi, I want to play:D
I love your loose style and choice of colors. I don't have Arches cold, but will try Strathmore. I know the paper can make the whole difference, but for what I want to learn will have to do. I have bunch of pastels, but no wrappers on them. Will have to look close at the screen to match them.
I did preliminary sketch with hard pencil lightly is it OK?- ready for the next step:D

Selahs art
11-25-2006, 10:51 PM
Ok count me in. I love a challenge.


bruce johnson
11-25-2006, 10:58 PM
Hi Jolanta and Retha Welcome onboard.. we now have more than 30 artists signed up so this should be a great project.. I've started a project thread and it is awaiting approval.. hopefullly today we will be able to get started... Jolanta I will take pics of the pastels I'm using at every stage so you should be able to match them easily.. :wave: :thumbsup:

bruce johnson
11-26-2006, 12:01 AM
To sign up for the project click this link..Look for Browse project and then click on sign up.. Click here! (http://www.wetcanvas.com//Community/Projects/index.php?cmd=view_details&proj_id=1072):thumbsup:Start adding your line drawings by clicking upload images

11-26-2006, 03:26 AM
Hey, Bruce! This is really moving along quickly now! I was so surprised to see that the project thread is up and people have already started! I have a couple of questions (don't I always? :lol:).

First, I notice that some of the sketches that people have begun have changed the format just a bit and enlarged the head in relation to the composition overall (in comparsion with the reference shot, which shows a lot of background). I was going to enlarge the head too, but then I thought I might ask what you recommend, before proceeding.

Second, I am planning to use my photo editing program to help me draw the image. I've already done some editing and have come up with this (and I invite anyone who wants to use this to download it, if you think it will be helpful):

My question though, is whether you think it's better to lay out the drawing using your method, rather than using the computer-generated image I've made from the reference image. I suppose they are both somewhat mechanical, and I have read some quite accomplished portrait artists say that they also use one sort of measuring system or another to lay out the drawing, so perhaps it's not important. On the other hand, I know some artists think that laying things out by hand is crucial to make the finished piece have a natural and loose appearance - that sort of human touch, I guess. Right now, I'm thinking of gridding off both my paper and the computer generated image, and going from there, although I may trace it. I just thought I'd ask if you had any recommendations in that area, before everyone gets started. I almost feel I need to do this in order to catch up with everyone! Getting a good likeness would take me quite a while as I'm not experienced in drawing faces.

I also wasn't quite certain whether to post these questions here, or in the new thread...

Thanks again for doing this. :clap::clap::clap: I'm really excited about it!

bruce johnson
11-26-2006, 04:08 AM
Hi Annie

Sorry about the confusion with the start time.. I forgot we're a day ahead in Aussie

If you post your questions in the project thread I'll answer them there.. :clap: :thumbsup:

11-26-2006, 10:27 AM
Since this is the first project I participate on WC I am trying to get familiar with navigating project thread. Now I am a bit confused. Do we post and upload everything in project thread? Do we post in both? Where are you going to post step by step instructions so we can follow??? I am lost here:lol: Sorry...

11-26-2006, 10:36 AM
Jolanta I don't know a lot about the project system...but I know we post our drawings there...where there is a comment facility...people post their comments and are immediately linked in to the comment thread back at base! In this case...Pastel talk! So it's a complete loop...clever eh?:D
To show you what I mean...I'm going to post a comment on yours...in the project...you nip over to Pastel talk and see if it appears!

11-26-2006, 12:51 PM
Thanks Dee - you are such a big help:D It is funny every time I upload the image I see something to improve. Now I had to lower her shoulder:lol: I like your drawing very much:clap:

11-26-2006, 08:30 PM
this is very confusing to me...where are the line drawings posted? Bruce, I thought you were going to take a photo of the actual pastels we will be using, since many of us don't have the colors on them any more....and if so where will that be? Jolanta, I am as confused as you are....I have no idea where we are going....do you think it is because we are both from NC??? LOL

11-26-2006, 08:45 PM
this is very confusing to me...where are the line drawings posted?

Try this link, then scroll down. All the associated links to the project are right there.


Bruce, I thought you were going to take a photo of the actual pastels we will be using, since many of us don't have the colors on them any more....and if so where will that be?

I'm sure he will... I just think we need to be a bit patient. :)

Bruce... you're doing a great job! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Hang in there!

11-26-2006, 09:08 PM
Hi pequan - I think I am getting it!:D It took me a lot of running around to figure it out. I could see your entry in the project thread - it means you know now what you are doing :lol: I already posted 3 versions of my line drawing. It looks like I am going to take over the place hehe:lol:
See you in the right place:D

bruce johnson
11-26-2006, 09:45 PM
Hi Pequan I will post the pastels before I start each section of the colour.. good to see you found your way to the project page.. I got lost too.. and I'm not from NC. :lol:

Once everyone gets used to the format things should move along better.. I'm realising that at the rate you guys are posting I will be a day behind in replying.. I appreciate your input and help Jolanta it will keep everyone interested and up to date while I'm at work or sleeping.. I need two of me.. one for US time and.. one for down under time.. :lol:

I hope to start the hair tonight so I will post pics of the colours..


11-26-2006, 11:17 PM
No rush Bruce:D The hair can wait. We don't want to wear you out before time:lol: :evil: :D You are already splitting yourself in five.......
Get some rest, go to work, but don't work too hard and save some energy for our attacks:D

11-27-2006, 03:31 AM
I need two of me.. one for US time and.. one for down under time.. :lol:

Ahem!! What about the UK? Should we be be splitting you into 3?:evil: :p :lol:

bruce johnson
11-27-2006, 04:54 AM
My wife says picking up after one is more than enough thank you :lol: :lol: :lol:

I've been working on the Julie's hair tonight and I'm not happy with the colours yet.. I'll post as soon as I've decided on the palette.. :wave: I want to try and keep it as simple as I can but still get the desired effect..

11-27-2006, 08:01 AM
we thank your wife as well as you for taking all the time to do this.....bet you didn't realize the amount of work we would put you through......

11-28-2006, 01:55 AM
i'm not familiar with this set up ... the pics won't be posted here but will be in another thread in pastel talk with everyone's work in separate threads? ... we need to check here and there and in everyone's folders? ...

bruce johnson
11-28-2006, 02:23 AM
Hi Violet
go to this link, sign up and post your updates there... they automatically chow up in the thread in Pastel Talk


Cheers Bruce:wave:

11-28-2006, 02:34 AM

I just got home from vacation and saw this thread. Please count me in! I'm headed to the link above to sign up. This is going to be great, Bruce!


bruce johnson
11-28-2006, 02:36 AM
Welcome onboard Binkie.. I love that name :lol: :wave:

I'm having trouble keeping track of everyone's updates so if I miss anyone please let me know.. PM is fine..

Karin Skold
11-30-2006, 02:41 AM
Hi, I am inerested. And I should prefer to work on my own portrait.(Own ref. or choise )

Look forward to hear from you,

11-30-2006, 11:42 AM
Hi Karin - I have an idea. Why don't you work on both of them? The whole idea here is to use this reference because is hard and when everybody is doing the same it is easier on Bruce:D He picked this ref. because it is not easy and we are learning how to accomplish specific look - bright sunshine affecting the subject, using cool and warm colors to show it. I am pretty sure your ref. is different so it will need different approach. This is just my opinion.
If you work on both - you will have more practice and challenge.:D

Karin Skold
11-30-2006, 12:16 PM
Hi Jolanta,

I think you are right !

I will work on the same. I understand it is better. :)


Deborah Secor
11-30-2006, 12:21 PM
Hi Karin--I understand your desire to work from a different reference, but Bruce's plate is pretty full right now with this challenge, as Jolanta pointed out. :D I think maybe later on, after doing this project, you and I might try to do our own thing and maybe post them in the forum, asking some of the more experienced portrait painters to critique and make suggestions... and maybe in time we can even get Bruce or another portrait painter to do a project where we can use our own reference photos!

I'd like to paint from a photo that is a bit more natural, relaxed--I guess I want to paint from the model and lacking that I want to work from a photo of a sitting model. I can see Bruce's point--the smiling photo of Julie is sparkling and beautiful, and presents some very challenging parts to it, such as teeth, direct sunlight on wrinkles, sunshiny hair--and it will give the folks who are painting her a great experience of how to paint realistic portraits from photos. I hope you benefit from it and have fun!


Karin Skold
11-30-2006, 01:06 PM
Thanks for your reply Deborah ! I am most happy for all replies here. And better understand it when you told me about the whole thing.
I really long to have some help in this matter. So, I would be happy to do as you recomend.
Thanks again,

Karin Skold
11-30-2006, 01:13 PM
Hm...forgot...Help..I dont understand how to do it.
Would we just look here in this thread?
Or, is there any link, special place where to send any work in progress...?



Karin :heart:

11-30-2006, 01:26 PM
Read some going back in this thread and you will find all the answers and directions:D

11-30-2006, 01:29 PM
There is another thread in Pastel Talk connected to this "Project discassion".
It is a lot of reading, but once you do it you will be there:D

Karin Skold
12-01-2006, 02:38 AM
Thanks again. But I have make the decision to not take part in this. You people are too clever for me.
thanks anyway

bruce johnson
12-01-2006, 03:04 AM
Hi Karin
You would be very welcome to join the portrait challenge... its a difficult portrait to paint but we are all having fun.. there's tears and laughter but a lot of satisfaction as well..
If you decide to join in here is the link to the project


Cheers Bruce :wave: :wave:

Karin Skold
12-01-2006, 04:14 AM
Thanks Bruce,

Next time.
I wish I came in earlier.

Ka:rolleyes: rin

12-01-2006, 09:12 AM
Hi Karin - is not too late yet. I think this is ongoing project. It is hard and we are going very slow, sometimes redoing but learning a lot. I don't believe we can really learn by just looking. We have to put the hands on and try. This is my first project here at WC and I was lost completely when I started.
Think again and if you really want to learn a lot jump in. You will catch up - no problem. Bruce is very good and very patient.
Hope to see you here. If you have any questions ask and we will help you.

Jo Castillo
12-01-2006, 12:04 PM
Hi Karin - is not too late yet. I think this is ongoing project. It is hard and we are going very slow, sometimes redoing but learning a lot. I don't believe we can really learn by just looking. We have to put the hands on and try. This is my first project here at WC and I was lost completely when I started.
Think again and if you really want to learn a lot jump in. You will catch up - no problem. Bruce is very good and very patient.
Hope to see you here. If you have any questions ask and we will help you.

I agree, it was difficult to figure out for me, too. My first project on WC. It is fun and I am learning and trying new ideas. Welcome to the fun.


Karin Skold
12-01-2006, 12:36 PM
Thanks for your message. I was a bit scared, I have to agree...it seems everyone are so clever..
But I will think about it over the weekend.

Thanks again


01-09-2007, 12:37 AM
Hello everyone,
Can I join in? I think I have signed up, I haven't done a project before it seems complicated but I'll give it a go,

bruce johnson
01-09-2007, 05:31 AM
Hi Deanna

Your very welcome... click on this link and it will take you to the project upload page..

Cheers Bruce

01-09-2007, 03:49 PM
Hello Bruce
I would like to observe too. I'm totally new to chalk pastels. I'm working on a portrait of my daughter right now and getting a bit lost as to where and how to proceed so I'm sure I will learn a lot from this group.
Thanks you for offering this.

bruce johnson
01-09-2007, 04:28 PM
No Problem EM.. Most of us have already finished the female project but I will be starting a toddler project some time towards the end of Jan.. It would be great if you could join in that one..

Cheers Bruce :wave: :wave:

01-09-2007, 08:42 PM
I did go and see the finished works and WIP. so I learned a lot by looking at those.
I will keep an eye open for the next one.

05-12-2007, 04:01 PM
i have read this thread but seem to be lost - sorry.
i know i am way too late now and that is fine as i had only intended to lurk and learn but i cannot find the instructions/pastel colours step by steps,etc.
i have derwent pastel pencils and a mixture of others too both hard and soft but the only pastel i attempted was so bad i was going to give up pastels completely until i read this thread.
is it watercolour paper that is being used? i have that plus canson and le carte sandpaper pastel board too but i am not sure what to use for what.
did i say i am new to pastels? but would love to do a pastel portrait. so please - where is the step by step instructions?
late comer

CM Neidhofer
05-12-2007, 08:04 PM
so please - where is the step by step instructions?


Scroll down to message #95. The link to the actual project is there.


05-13-2007, 02:06 PM
Thanks Christyart, being on dial up it takes ages to scroll through messages. shame the link wasn't easier.

05-13-2007, 02:19 PM
found message 95 but still cannot find the actual step by step instructions, jsut the sign up page. please can someone give me the link so i can read and follow the instructions to the portrait. i am not doing this project as it is too late but i would like to read it and learn from it.

bruce johnson
05-17-2007, 10:10 PM
Hi Daka

I only just noticed your post to this thread, here is the actual project page with my comments to all artists including my portrait.

I'm happy to critique your work as you go if you would like.. no problem..

Cheers Bruce

05-21-2007, 01:49 PM
I think that daka has pointed out one of the problems with the more popular demo threads. They tend to get so long that new people - those that want to try the project after most people have finished - can get discouraged trying to find the nuggets of information they need in order to do the project themselves. The way I have things set up, your Julie demo has over a hundred pages! It's hard to navigate through all of them, to find the instructions.

Perhaps, along with the regular demo thread in which everyone comments, there could be a shorter version, culled from the long thread, with just the instructions and progress pics of the instructor only included? It would mean newcomers would miss all the wonderful stuff that people learn from the other participants, but it might help in terms of newcomers actually being able to do the project at a later date. And the newcomers could always choose which version they wanted to use.

Just my two cents...

P.S. Bruce: I've had my half-finished Julie hanging on my wall most of the winter, making me feel horribly guilty for not finishing every time I looked at her. I finally felt so bad that I covered her up with another piece of paper. :lol: But maybe I'll try again, now that it's getting warmer. I had fixative problems in the cold weather and I didn't want to spray inside. Thanks again for all your tremendous work in hosting this thread, and sharing your expertise with us all.