Demonstration of portrait painting with pastels

Rob Wareing

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 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. 10 minutes later he had captured an recognisable likeness of the model as shown below.

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



This photo shows the painting at the start of the tea-break after about 50 minutes work.

Rob's selection of pastels used. It is amazing how he always seems to find the correct one.




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

Rob and the model standing next to the finished demonstration


Yet another excellent demonstration from Rob Wareing