23 Dec
The Man in the Beret

My recent pastel portrait is of a musician named Ian. He can often be found singing and playing the guitar outside the Marks and Spencer store on Argyle Street, one of the oldest streets in Glasgow, Scotland . The photograph was taken by Charles Hamilton, who kindly gave me permission to use it as a reference. I finally found the "secret sauce" that works the best for me, which is a combination of a prepared matboard surface, pastel sticks, pastel pencils and colored pencils. Another thing that has helped improve my work is figuring out the best way to look at my reference photo. I switched to a new tablet, and the colors are vibrant and screen resolution is much better than the old one I was using. Now I can zoom in and see various parts of the reference photo that were difficult to see before. The most challenging part of this painting was the hair. It was hard to get the locks to curl and look soft and natural. But I really enjoyed creating the textures in his hat, scarf and coat.  I'm very happy with the way it turned out!

Until Next Time,


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