19 Oct
The Face Painter

I put finished this portrait of a face painter from Austin, Texas in August but forgot to post it in my blog! As I've mentioned in the past, finding subjects of people for portraits that are free to use without restriction is not easy. But I came across this photograph on Flickr taken by Earl McGehee of an artist named Jennifer, who was exhibiting at the East Austin Studio Tour. I want to find references that are interesting and tell some kind of story, and this one did just that.

I used pastel sticks and pastel pencils on paper. I used Canson Mi Teintes paper, and itonly holds so much pigment before it starts to pill - kind of like a T-shirt that has been washed too many times. That is a definite drawback. But the paper allows for smooth blending and a "painterly" look, which I like. The biggest challenges with this project were finding the correct combination of colors for the skin tone and getting the edges to look right.

Here is a little art lesson...nature doesn't have outlines like a coloring book, but instead everything in nature has edges. So to get something to look three dimensional on a two dimensional surface, you have to create edges with light and dark colors, shadows and highlights. You don't want crisp lines except in certain places, otherwise it will look like an illustration or a cartoon and not like a painting.  That is something I have to continue to work on, but overall, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. My goal is to complete 8-10 portraits (including the ones I've already done) and enter an art show in May 2024.

Until Next Time!!

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