This has been a most special little piece to work on.  The family lost this sweet boy many years ago in very tragic circumstances.  I hope that what I’ve created for them will be a special way to remember him.  I also hope you enjoy his progress here.

The finished piece. 10″x12″ pastel on velour



My outline on the yellow toned velour and I’ve blocked
in the background.  Going for quite earthy warm tones.
Nothing too bright or distracting but something to give
a sense of some directional light.
 Getting a feel for where the darkest areas
are on the face.  I always find it helps to have a little
of the neck and below the neckline in soon to give the
pose some structure.
 Starting to add some colour to the face
including those rosey cheeks.
 Some of my Unison pastels in front of me.
Surprisingly small palette for this one, probably
under 20 different shades.
 Starting to get a feel for his expression now.
I always spend ages tweaking facial features and
with this portrait I’m trying to put all the detail
and focus on the eyes, nose and mouth area.
 Some of the blue under his chin and jawline
as it reflects from his blue jumper.
 Placing those teeth in there is tricky and it
takes me a few goes.  The great thing about pastel
is you can try again!
 Almost there and I’m considering how I might finish
his jumper.  I like the idea of him emerging from this
background and blending the jumper in. You can see how
I layer up the darker blues before adding the lighter touches
to suggest at the knit.  You don’t have to paint every stitch,
just the suggestion can be enough.