This is a portrait of a street musician from Edinburgh, Scotland. I came across the photograph on Flickr, a photography website, but it was not copyright free. I contacted the photographer, Ralf Steinberger, and he kindly gave me permission to use it as a reference. It is such a good reference photo because of the dramatic lighting and interesting story. I've always enjoyed drawing different textures with colored pencils, like glass, rust and leather, so it was a lot of fun to draw the textures of the metal and cloth with pastels this time.
I often talk about the combination of materials, which makes the biggest difference in art. For this project, I used pastel sticks and pastel pencils, but I didn't use paper at all. I used mat board and primed it with a product called pastel ground. It looks like spackle you use to patch a hole in the wall, and I thinned it out with some water and painted it on the board. I think I finally found the perfect surface for pastels... I loved it! It worked wonderfully well for blending AND for fine details. I can't wait to do my next portrait the same way.
Until next time!