An interesting wedding portrait has been on my easel this week.  I’ve been working from a photograph in which the couple are in the shadow.  I quite liked this and wanted to keep them in a very warm shadow with the gold around them being quite regal and adding to the warmth.  In their reference photo there was gold wallpaper behind them which I’ve simplified but kept the tones.

The finished painting 12″x16″ pastel on velour
At this point I’ve sketched the couple out roughly to get their
proportions and transferred that onto my yellow velour.  It’s
not possible to rub out on velour so I find it difficult to draw on.
Once I transfer my first sketch on though I can then refine it further
with a pastel pencil before starting the colour work.  This means
I have the proportions and the drawing part out of the way early on.
From here it’s constant small tweaks and further drawing of planes
with solid colour.
I’ve used the light yellow Hahnemule velour.
The soft pastels I use are mostly Unison with their
big buttery sticks and huge colour range.  They
work great on other papers too not just velour.
My first layer of colour usually looks a bit scary…
Even in layer two it already starts to blend the seams
The warm skin tones are quite tricky and I find it
hard to avoid making any highlight brighter than
yellow.  The highlight is saved for the back of his
neck which is being hit by light directly and I like
how it makes a shield of him to their warm kiss.
That’s quite romantic for me! 😉
The area left untouched is the veil shape.  Pastel
is great for getting sheer fabric.
I paint pretty loosely what I can see vaguely through
the veil first.
Must have got distracted with the suit.  I do jump
around sometimes…
I also realised I’d be better getting some more of what
is underneath the veil done before working on the veil.
Using the side of a Unison I can rub lightly over what
I’ve done to create the veil.  By not pressing as hard
I can create thin films of colour which I do when building
up soft gradients of tone.  Here I just don’t blend it in.
Close up of ‘The Kiss’ showing the bright colours I’ve used on
their faces.

Thanks and congratulations to the lovely couple who I’ve been staring at all week.  I hope they like what their friends have commissioned for them… ☺