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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Monochrome portrait Demonstration

Monochrome portrait Demonstration by Susan Kerrigan-Harris  

We are grateful to Susan for doing  this demonstration at short notice after the regrettable and unavoidable cancellation by the previous demonstrator.
The subject for her monochrome pastel painting was a Russian girl who lives in Italy. Monochrome paintings are used by Susan as tonal studies for later colour paintings.

Working from a mobile phone photograph onto a light grey velour pastel paper she uses a mixture of hard and soft pastels (Unison)and pastel pencils (Caran d'Arche soft and Derwent or Pitt hard). Test the pastel or pencil on the hand to determine hardness and remove shininess by rubbing on sandpaper.
         There are about four types of pastel paper ranging in "tooth" from velour to sandpaper. Using velour paper means that the pastel has to be rubbed to get a dense amount of colour on the paper but does allow a light covering to catch if necessary. With pencils the side of the pencil is used to make a mark not the tip.
 Excess can be removed with a photographic blower brush and highlights taken out with  a torchon or blender. The painting is sprayed very lightly with fixative.
To sharpen pencils use a craft knife in a scooping movement and finish to a point with sandpaper.
Powder or Pan pastels can be painted on with a sponge brush for backgrounds.  

Before beginning a painting study the subject carefully to try to understand the character.
Do an outline drawing of the face and hair to begin and then concentrate firstly on the eyes. White is used for the whites of the eye and to create highlights in the centre of the eye as well as on the eyelids, under eyebrows, lips, cheekbones and hair etc. It is important to produce a slight dip in the corner of the eye. Eye lashes are painted by using a Payne's Grey pastel pencil and starting by putting in scattered lashes then filling the gaps.
Dark areas are painted using the side of the pastel and details with a dark pencil.
A very light covering of light grey pastel is put on in appropriate areas to emphasise the highlights.
 This was a fascinating demonstration and we look forward to another evening with another subject.

At the Tea Break
Nearly Finished
What a wonderful experience last night, I had a great time!  I have finished both portraits this morning so thought I would send them on to you to share with your members.  The little girl just fell out of my pencil today and I
finished her in 1.5 hours. That might just be a record lol!
I forgot to mention last night that anyone who is on facebook might be interested in my pastel group.  I post pastel tips and techniques and videos of what I'm working on.   Here is the link: 
Best Wishes and Happy Christmas
Sue Kerrigan-Harris
07740 282399

Finished portrait

The Art Journey table had Christmas cards by Maria Hillman and an acrylic painting on Aluminium Composite Panel (primed with gesso) painted by Di


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