View Full Version : Shelley

bruce johnson
02-11-2007, 06:18 PM
Hi guys

Its been awhile since I posted a WIP... this is a portrait of Shelley. the daughter of Susan Harrison-Tustain. Susan painted Shelley in watercolour and I'm painting her in pastel.. you can see Susan's watercolour and demo on her website (www.susanart.com)if you want to see a comparison of the same image in the two mediums..

this is painted on Arches CP 300gsm watercolour paper. I have used colour shapers to blend the pastels, I've also used a sable hair watercolour brush to lay down light touches of colour to get reflected light in some places..


Cheers Bruce

02-11-2007, 06:31 PM
Hi Bruce! Looks awesome! Is it on watercolor paper? Love those green eyes!


bruce johnson
02-11-2007, 06:33 PM
Hi Pat ... gee you're quick... I was just editing and adding the type of paper.. The pastels are Rembrandt...:wave: :thumbsup:

02-11-2007, 08:31 PM
It's Gorgeous, Bruce! Can't wait to see it finished.


02-12-2007, 03:02 AM
Sure is gorgeous!! I love this pose and the hat is so romantic!! This will look fantastic finished!


bruce johnson
02-12-2007, 04:50 AM
Thanks binkie and Netty... Here's a small update before I go to bed... I'm rushing to get this finished so I can get started on the toddler project..:) http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Feb-2007/17761-shelley_002.jpg

02-12-2007, 07:57 AM
Very nice work Bruce! :)

02-12-2007, 08:17 AM
:thumbsup: Beautiful

02-12-2007, 09:21 AM
Awesome work.... Thank you so much for sharing! Donna R.

02-12-2007, 10:00 AM
Oh! Bruce! It's lovely! Beautiful young lady and beautiful painting!:clap: You have such a way with portraits!

I keep going back to her eyes... such lovely green eyes, but something doesn't seem quite right. Is one larger? It's hard to see under her had. Is it just me? :D Probably... no one else has mentioned it, sorry.

I must say I am so torn... I love your style of soft realism, but I also love Margaret's(mang) bold, loose style. I don't know which path to follow...:confused: It would be fun to see Margaret's rendition. Same photo, completely different style. Hmmm...

Thanks for sharing, Bruce!

02-12-2007, 02:53 PM
Hi Bruce! Love this painting. :clap: I must admit after Marcia mentioned it I looked closer at the eyes... :D I think the left eye, as we look at the painting, does not have as much of a shadow at the top, as the right one does, and that is why the left eye looks larger.

bruce johnson
02-12-2007, 04:48 PM
Mange tak Dorte, thanks for dropping by... :wave:

Thanks Dawn. I'm enjoying painting this one.. :thumbsup:

You're very welcome Donna, thanks for dropping in.. :wave:

Hi Marcia, I also like Mang's style and I will probably paint some portraits like that as well so I can offer both styles for commission work.. and I think Mang's style works well for gallery work... painting like I have here takes a long time, I need to be quicker..
I've looked at the eyes and Jean is right...its the shadows that make the eyes look slightly different in size also the white of the eyes in the left eye is whiter which makes it look larger.. I'll zoom in and post a larger image tonight when i get home... Thanks for your comments .. :clap: :thumbsup:

Hi Jean thanks for dropping by, yes I think you're right about the shadow making the eyes look different.. I'll take another look tonight when I get home and then post a zoomed in pic..thanks for your comments:clap: :thumbsup:

02-12-2007, 05:00 PM
Wow Bruce, this is just gorgeous!

Pulling up a chair and thank you for sharing - the skintones are amazing!


02-12-2007, 05:05 PM
Oh, yum!!! This is just going to be delicious!!!! And a joy to watch... though at the speed you're going, don't guess I should get too awfully comfy in my front row seat!!! ;) I feel a "Bravo!" coming.... :thumbsup:

bruce johnson
02-12-2007, 05:08 PM
Thank you Alison and Tammy... its great having my own cheerleader squad.. :lol: :lol:

Paula Ford
02-12-2007, 07:27 PM
Oh how beautiful this is already Bruce...loving it!!


Bhavana Vijay
02-13-2007, 12:02 AM
It looks beautiful so far Bruce.:clap: I really like the shadows, not harsh at all. Lovely skin tones, cant wait to see how you handle the hair.

02-13-2007, 10:56 AM
Beautiful! I love the softness!

bruce johnson
02-13-2007, 04:55 PM
Thank you folks.. here's another little update... http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Feb-2007/17761-shelley_002.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Feb-2007/17761-shelley_003.jpg

02-14-2007, 08:17 AM
Absolutely beautiful!!!! I just adore this portrait!! You have used such lovely soft colours. Her look is so dreamy , which creates a wonderful MOOD for this painting!! Her hair is fantastic! I just love everything about this!!!

I have noticed that alot of your work has a watercolour look, I just love it!!! the colour choice you have really does work!! excellent!!!


02-14-2007, 11:40 AM
Oh Bruce - this is beautiful... you must be very pleased. I'll watch for mor updates as they come. Looks like you are really learning a lot in your approach.


02-14-2007, 11:52 AM

The start of another wonderful portrait! I never tire of seeing your work!

02-14-2007, 12:52 PM

Rose Baggs
02-14-2007, 01:23 PM
Oh...Wow...love it!!!! Makes me want to do another portrait...Wow...Great work Bruce!

02-14-2007, 01:30 PM
I've never been accused of being a woman of few words.... but this is so beautiful that it leaves me speechless!!!!! :eek:

02-14-2007, 06:36 PM
Hi Bruce, this is looking really beautiful. I like your soft style and colour choices - it has a lovely romantic mood. Looking forward to seeing more!

02-14-2007, 08:01 PM
You can feel her mood. Very elegant.

bruce johnson
02-14-2007, 09:46 PM
Thank you for your kind comments Annie Maree... I am primarily a watercolourist and have only recently started painting in pastels... but the techniques and colour matches I use have all come from my watercolour knowledge.. I'm fortunate to have a brilliant mentor ( Susan Harrison-Tustain )to keep me on track and also my colour bible. Making colour Sing byJeanne Dobie. I also have to thank Susan for allowing me to use her ref image and paint her daughter..
Incidentally, I love your avatar it would make a fabulous portrait.. :thumbsup: :wave:

Hi Barb, yes I'm learning about colour temp with pastels.. sometimes the traditional rules can be broken.. Oops did I say that out loud :lol: :lol:

Thanks Karen.. I'll have an update tonight.. I'm on the home stretch now.. :wave:

Thanks for dropping by Gerry... :wave:

Yip time for another portrait Rose... I'll be waiting..;) :wave:

Tammy lost for words... I gotta tell BA that one. .. :lol: :lol:

Thanks Ali...should I bring this to PSV next month.. :wave:

Thanks mustang... I'm trying to decide on a theme for a series and I think portraits of days gone by painted in this style might be a goer for gallery work.. it may have to be in watercolour though... I'm not sure how well pastels sell.:wave:

02-14-2007, 10:21 PM
Hi Bruce, it would be a great idea to bring it to the PSV next month and enter it into the MEC awards! Most bring along a painting to put in each month, this would be lovely to bring. :thumbsup:

02-15-2007, 06:42 AM

Sometimes there is a painting that gently says, "Go back to your pastels"

This is it....just lovely.


Pat Isaac
02-15-2007, 09:22 AM
Just gorgeous, Bruce. Very soft and feminine.


bruce johnson
02-15-2007, 05:03 PM
Hi Ali.. Ok I'll bring it to the meeting, I read somewhere that the paintinngs don't have to be framed, is that correct..:wave:

Thanks gmc and Pat.. here's another update, almost finished now, just have to finish the dress and the arms then go back over and touch up the values and colour over the whole painting... oh and take a second look at the accuracy of the eyes..


02-15-2007, 05:05 PM
Yes that's right Bruce, no frames necessary - some people just bring them still clipped to their board. A few bring framed works but most do not.

02-16-2007, 04:45 PM
She is very beautiful, and she know it! You have captured her moment of grace and spirit and I can't take my eyes off of it!


02-17-2007, 05:55 PM
Absolutely stunning Bruce - really beautiful!


02-17-2007, 06:05 PM
Just amazing. That is just the most beautiful painting, so clever. Thankyou for letting us follow along, Ruth

02-17-2007, 06:52 PM
Hi Bruce,

This is so beautiful!!:clap::clap:I couldn't take my eyes off her!! I love the colors and the softness. Also I see the transparency in her face! Now I know what you said about the colors. How could you acheive that transperency with pastels!! Simply amazing!! If it is not too much to ask for, could you please list out the colors you used for the skin tones? Hats OFF!!! Thank you for sharing. This is a good treat to our eyes.

bruce johnson
02-18-2007, 04:47 PM
Thanks Ali see you there...:wave:

Thank you Gloria... I still have her sitting on my easel... :wave:

Hi Alison thanks for stopping by... I have to thank Susan for allowing me to use her excellent ref image of her beautiful daughter:thumbsup:

Hi Ruth Thanks for stopping by and you're very welcome.. :wave:

Hi Usha.. I'll try and do a swatch of the colours I used when I get home tonight... I frequently get asked to list the colours I use and I usually forget, I must make it a habit as progress the painting. :wave: :thumbsup:

Cheers Bruce

02-18-2007, 08:06 PM
She is lovely Bruce! I love your palette!


bruce johnson
02-18-2007, 08:40 PM
Thanks Pat Im starting to understand pastels a bit better now, I'm learning how the hues change and react when blended and which colours work best with each other.. also how to keep your paper relatively clean.:) :thumbsup:

David Patterson
02-18-2007, 08:40 PM
Very soft, very eloquent...wonderful painting Bruce!:thumbsup:


bruce johnson
02-18-2007, 08:42 PM
Thanks David.. this is fast becoming my favorite medium... :thumbsup:

02-19-2007, 04:35 PM
Lovely portrait - lovely girl! I look forward to more of this artwork.

Mary Brigid
02-19-2007, 05:02 PM
Stunning work as usual Bruce. I love it
Mary Brigid

bruce johnson
02-19-2007, 09:29 PM
Hi Dianna and Mary... thank you for dropping by and your nice comments...:wave: :thumbsup:

02-20-2007, 05:50 AM
Hi, this is a lovely pic, I'm sure Shelley will be delighted, what a beatutiful model! I love your use of delicate pastel shades.
I tried watercolour paper once but found its lack of tooth a problem, perhaps I'll have another go...Do you prepare the surface with anything?

02-20-2007, 12:58 PM
absolutely beautiful work. Stunning. Definitely the work of a Master!!!!


bruce johnson
02-20-2007, 04:54 PM
Hi Margaret,,, thank you for stopping by,, I love your work as well.:clap: :thumbsup:

No I don't prepare the paper with anything..I use colour shapers to blend the pastel into the paper, and I only use light layers... If I make a mistake i brush the pastel off and start again rather than try and paint over it... Shelley is painted on Cold Pressed paper and you can still see the tooth of the paper.. By keeping my layers very thin I can actually get a transparent look, similar to watercolour..

Hi Ricky Thank you for your nice comments... a master!!!Gee I don't know, maybe one day.. :) I would love to be able to paint realism like Diana Ponting.. :wave: :thumbsup:

02-20-2007, 10:01 PM
Bruce, I love all your paintings, but this time you have out done yourself. You have done an absolutely superlative job.


02-21-2007, 12:33 AM

This is marvelous, flirty, vintage, innocence. Great pose, done masterfully! Thankyou for stepping this out for us.

I am struggling with a portrait of my son, and your wips help me alot.

Muchas gracias!


bruce johnson
02-21-2007, 01:03 AM
Awww.. geee.. shucks binkie you 've made me blush... thank you.. :p

Gracias Carol ...de nada... :)

02-21-2007, 01:09 AM
Oh, what a wonderfull soft portrait Bruce! You've done a GREAT job on this! Beautifull!

Pat Isaac
02-21-2007, 07:49 AM
Outstanding, Bruce.


02-21-2007, 03:32 PM
The eyes are looking good to me now Bruce! I guess whatever you did took care of the problem. :D She is just beautiful!!!:thumbsup: You should be very proud of this piece!

bruce johnson
02-22-2007, 12:46 AM
Thank you Dorte and:) :wave: :thumbsup:

Hi Jean I adjusted the inner corner of the eyes to make them look on the same plane.. it was only a tweak but seems to have made the difference... thnaks for your help:thumbsup:

Jo Castillo
02-23-2007, 12:50 AM
Just saw this. Very beautiful, you have the touch.

Golden Kfir
02-23-2007, 01:01 AM
What kind of paper do you use?


bruce johnson
02-23-2007, 03:48 AM
Hi Jo thanks for dropping by and the nice comments.:wave: :thumbsup:

Hi Josh this is on Arches Cold pressed 300gsm (140lb) watercolour paper

03-23-2007, 09:00 AM
I saw this one on artistnetwork and understood that you did the step by step here. I am doing a portrait right now and needed inspiration.This is a beautiful inspiration piece. I love your work. Thank you for sharing it with us. scochran

03-23-2007, 11:28 AM
Oh Bruce - it's a gem... Thanks for taking us on the journey with you and this flirtateous gal. Very fun.


Doris Baggett
03-23-2007, 11:58 AM
This is perfectly lovely. All your work is exemplary, but she fairly glows with beauty. And on watercolor paper! You are amazing!

Charles Perera
03-23-2007, 08:16 PM
Gorgeous, I think would be the appropriate adjective. I love the subtle treatment of the subjet. The skin tones are beautiful.


bruce johnson
03-25-2007, 08:47 PM
THank you shanasart you are very kind... I have recently had Shelley framed and she has pride of place in our dining room.. :wave:

Hi Barb thanks for stopping by... I enjoyed painting Shelley, she is so flirtatious.. Susan is so lucky to have her as a regular model.. :wave:

Hi Doris.. thank you for your nice comments.. I find the Cold pressed watercolour paper perfect for pastel portraits.. you do have to be careful that you don't use too many layers, but a little fixative gets you past this problem.. :thumbsup:

Merci beaucoup Charles, vous etres tres gentil... :wave:

03-27-2007, 08:54 AM
Beautiful Bruce, very soft and very pretty!
I admire your style!

bruce johnson
03-27-2007, 06:17 PM
Thank you Holley I love your work as well.. :wave: :thumbsup:

04-03-2007, 12:21 AM
Bruce brought the gorgeous Shelley portrait to the Pastel Society of Victoria meeting last night and I must dob him in for winning first prize in the advanced! :thumbsup:

Congratulations Bruce! This one really stood out from the crowd!

Jo Castillo
04-03-2007, 12:43 AM
Congratulations, Bruce. Much deserved.


Donna T
04-03-2007, 08:15 AM
This is so beautiful and deserves a prize! Congratulations!!!

Donna T

nana b
04-03-2007, 11:11 AM
Bruce it's just beautiful. You have really captured the sweetness and freshness of her youth.

nana b

bruce johnson
04-03-2007, 06:47 PM
Thank you all, I must admit that I have a soft spot for this painting and I was overwhelmed to win the award... there were a number of amazing works on show and its quite humbling to receive recognition from other artists.. :wave: