Pastel portrait painting is one of the new trends when it comes to art regardless if you are using soft pastels, hard pastels and oil pastels. The rich and luminous fresh colors of pastels are ideal for creating pastel portrait painting based on a subject that you wanted to duplicate. The best thing about using this painting medium is the rick pigment present for every stick that you apply on the right pastel paper to achieve the best effects needed for your portrait painting.
What are the benefits you can get with pastel portrait painting from the rest of the other painting media? Can you create pastel portrait painting even if you are just new with this painting medium? What are the common challenges when it comes to pastel portrait painting?
Pastel Portrait Painting
Pastels are known for their versatility and fresh colors that they produced on the painting surface. Since they are mostly made of pigments that is the key factor for their rich and vibrant colors just like oil paints. There are a variety of pastels to choose from if you wanted to create a pastel portrait painting of your own or with a subject image.
Some artists are more comfortable working with hard pastels while others work perfectly with soft pastels. Though the right paper is also a must to allow the pastels to hold on the painting surface. Knowing which type of pastels you will be working with and what materials to use, plus the subject image that you will be creating is essential to the overall success of your artwork.
Benefits Of Pastel Portrait Painting
Before we move along with how e can create a wonderful pastel portrait painting, it is known to every pastel artists how dynamic it is to work with this painting medium. Portraits are one of the few types of painting that requires an artist to work on details but not to be stiff with details that make the artwork lifeless afterward. The amazing factor of how you can capture the still-life appearance of your subject and imposing a mystery at the same time is what makes artists strive to work on their portraits even more.
One of the benefits of creating a pastel portrait painting is capturing the magical image with the vibrant colors of your painting medium. Since pastels almost have the same composition as oil paints, they are indeed one of the most commonly used painting media today. The way they have evolved throughout the years is also a great advantage for every pastel artists. They became less toxic from the first time that they were used.
The portability of using pastels is one of the great benefits each artist can truly get with this painting medium. The pastels are also great for outdoor painting, aside from a well-ventilated area working with them, they don’t dry as fast as acrylic paints. Since they are handy, you can even start creating your pastel portrait painting whenever creativity strikes you. All you need is a good-quality pastel paper, your pastels and you are good to go painting.
There are different ways and techniques on how you can create your very own pastel portrait painting. Have your materials ready and the subject image that you wanted to copy or even play along with the composition and other elements of art as well. Explore and experiment with your painting medium to enhance your skills. The more you get to know your pastel colors, the better you can create portraits or any type of painting with them.
Guide For Pastel Portrait Painting
Before you begin working with your soft, hard or oil pastels for your pastel portrait painting, it is ideal to check the right materials that you will use to achieve the best result for your every artwork.
If you are just beginning or exploring with pastel portraits, then you can take everything one small steps at a time. There are no mistakes when we are creating arts, they always have nuggets to new skills and knowledge to help you improve your painting journey.
To start along with pastel portrait painting, you can create and have a feel of the right balance and shapes in your pastel paper with one dark color as the base. You can emphasize the negative and positive spaces for your main subject. The negative space is those around the portrait or subject you are working with.
Since you will be working with a portrait, it is best to locate the anchor of your subject. This is the focal point between the nose and the eyebrows. It may look like a triangle and that is where you will be starting out. If you can work with an anchor will be easier for you to work on the other parts or areas now.
Working with the vertical and horizontal areas of your anchor will help you determine the dimension between the nose and the eyebrows and other areas. There is a definite yet tricky measurement when you are working with the face for your portrait. Some artists divide the face into three parts for them to easily work on them later. You can say that the first part will be from the chin to the bottom of the nose. This will be the first portion, the next one will be from the bottom of the nose to the eyebrow. And lastly, take it from the top of the eyebrows to the forehead.
One of the key factors for a successful portrait is to pain by the light that is present on your painting surface or your subject image. You can start painting by the strongest amount of light that is present on the face of your portrait. You can focus on the strongest source of light for your painting and let the other sources were.
The best way to create a great portrait is to know where is the lightest and darkest part of the painting. The shadows that you will be working with will determine how realistic and the emotion you wanted to create will be shown with these small details.
Once you have created the base for your portrait, make sure that you have added darks and value to the image. The strong base that you have established will be a great factor once you have added the colors for your artwork. Add the colors on your pastel portraits little by little. Ideally, you can work with the cool and warm colors for your surface.
Once there are an established warm and cool colors, then the complementary colors are the next to be added on pastel paper. You can now see the image but not totally finished. Working on the skin tones of your portrait can be one of the best highlights as the light and colors can be seen little by little.
You can now work on the texture and the thickness of your portrait with the soft pastels for your secondary light source. You do not need to work on extra details with the negative spaces if you wanted to and just emphasize them with colors or sharpening their edges either. Bring the subject or focal point into life and work on where you wanted the viewer to look into. Add some more finishing touches for your portrait and check the final image.
If you happen to not work on the image as similar to your subject, then that is totally okay. Sometimes it makes take a few tries before you can successfully create a portrait but it will eventually be there sooner. It is all about how you forgive and learn each portrait session with pastels or any painting media.