Hard work pays off. Even if a person feels that their more raw ability is a gift from God, they may spend a lot of time working to nurture that ability. So to try to explain years and years of work, and the many design considerations that took place along the way...seems kind of ridiculous. Many times for me, rather than explain all of the preceding years, I just say I drew, painted or rendered a piece. But occasionally, on certain pieces, I do share the specifics of my process that went into that individual piece if it seems noteworthy.
I photographed the piece below, thinking for my intents and purposes, it was finished. Two more faces, done. And also, because by this point, I had gotten what I came for. It was a surface study of working with this particular type of mat board to not only see how it took the pastel, but also to maximize the color of the mat board beneath the pastel. I let more of the surface show through when painting the woman, than the man who is painted more opaquely, so as to make her seem to recede. Not only is the pastel applied in more thinner layers with her, but in some areas of what would be shadow or highlight there is almost no coverage with the pastel at all. While I don't know what brand of mat board this is, it was a pleasure to work with...an absolute pastelist's dream.After the piece sat for a day, I decided to add a watery background. Not only because of the mat board color was a watery scene an obvious choice, but also because the way I rendered the couple: how they seem to melt and fade into each other and the background fluidly.Originally, it started out with just bluer water and sky. But try as I might to go with a more subdued color scheme, it didn't work in this piece. It sat on my easel for a few hours before finally nerving up to add in the pumpkin shades in the sky, and other subsequent changes. Lastly, I added the moon not only as a whimsical touch, but also to reinforce through repetition the direction of his face turned toward her. Although the man is rendered more opaquely and closer to the foreground, her more "head on" pose and his looking at her makes her the more dominant subject in the painting.
16" by 20", pastel on mat boardThat takes me to 833 faces. Can you even imagine if I had given this much of a lengthy explanation of every face I had done?!!
Until next time, take care!