Demonstration of portrait painting with pastels

Rob Wareing

Rob started by arranging the model sitting on a high chair and lit by a single spotlight above and to one side of the models head to augment the existing studio lighting

Rob started his portrait by positioning the composition on the board by drawing very loosely with a sanguine pastel pencil onto a large sheet of mid grey Canson pastel paper. He then focussed in on the eyes which he drew carefully with much measurement, and proceeded with the nose and mouth using measurements referenced to the eyes. He then refined the drawing using a sepia pastel pencil. After 15 minutes he had captured an accurate likeness of the model as shown below.

He then established the range of tonal values working from lightest to darkest.


This photo shows the model standing next to the painting during the tea-break after about 50 minutes work.


After the break, Rob resumed work and progressively developed and refined the picture, softening the facial tones, darkening the hair and shadows, adding some background colour, and suggesting her clothing and necklace. He appeared to work haphazardly correcting details with whatever colour pastel he was using rather than concentrating on one area at a time.




The finished demonstration

Close up detail of the finished painting

The model standing next to the finished demonstration

Yet another excellent demonstration from Rob Wareing