I was asked to paint this beautiful image as a gift and it’s always a pleasure to get a beautiful photo reference to work from. I made some adjustments to the reference to find a better composition but I knew the setting would make a beautiful portrait backdrop.
We also got our new exhaust this week so we’re back on the move. Hope you enjoy some of my snaps from Seville too!
I work on a special pastel paper called velour and one thing I always recommend to artists trying it out is to do your initial line drawing on another thin sheet of paper and transfer it on. I thought I’d show you more of those first stages here too. What you see here is me going over the lines of my drawing which is on thin cartridge paper.
Using lots of lilac shades in the clouds. It makes it warmer and more interesting than a cold grey. Try to avoid using grey as technically it’s not a colour. Instead find a dusky blue or another colour that adds more interest and doesn’t flatten your work.
This week we finally left Tarifa and headed towards Seville. With our new exhaust fitted we’re back on the road. Here is a little shot of Freda our motorhome parked at the end of the pier in Puerto Gelves en route to Seville.
Working on the land and water blocking in the darks first. While I put the little houses on the hillsides I don’t worry too much with tiny detail. The more I can simplify the backdrop the more our focus will be drawn to Juno first.
I start to block in the sand all around Juno. Her shadow made such a lovely outline on the sand I just had to include all of it. I’ve used a Grey 8 Unison pastel for the shadow. Try to use opposite colours when painting shadows. So because the sand is yellowy I use a purple tone as the shadow. Try looking at shadows you see and notice the colours your eye can see as sometimes photos flatten the colour that your eye can pick up in person. By knowing this though you can improve upon a good photo to make a great painting!
Some of the narrowest streets are a tight squeeze in the crowds!
Starting work on Juno now and again I work from top to bottom. Because of her scale, detail is fiddly. There isn’t a lot of texture visible on the whitest sunlit areas of her coat but by adding some texture into the darker areas it gives the impression.
A little picture of myself and the piece to show it’s scale and colours in daylight. I always scan my work but I like to take a photo on location too now as they look a little different in the photo. There is never any comparison to how they look in person, as with all pastels. The way a pastel reflects light and has real depth to it in person is why I love this medium! That and about a million other reasons!
Thanks so much for visiting. Please check back soon for more work in progress. If you’d like some more info on commissioning a painting please visit http://www.emmacolbertart.com/art-portraits-pricing/