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Drawing Laughter Lines

//Drawing Laughter Lines

pastel pencil portraitKen has asked for my help with selecting colours for his wife’s hair also how to get over the “laughter lines” that affect us all, as he wants to paint a pastel pencil portrait of his wife.

First of all the easy question first, I would lay down white then ivory as a base as the hair is very light in colour. This creates the base for the following colours. I would suggest that 270 is added then 273 in places where the grey shaded areas can be seen in the photograph. There is no really strong tones in the hair therefore there is no need for any strong colours. I would try 187 to add the reddish ochre tones and add 283 lightly where the ochre is strongest, under the ear for example. These colours will have to be tempered by using 270 lightly on top of the 187 and 283. As always there are bound to be other colours in the mix and these would have to be selected once the painting is underway, it is impossible to predict what these will be until the base colours are laid.

Now for the more difficult question – the laughter lines. What you have to remember to do in portrait work is flatter the subject; placing laughter lines too strongly would certainly not achieve this end. The way out of this is to place them in as faintly as you can using the pinks, greys and ochre’s as well as the obvious white and ivory pastel pencils. Once these are in place temper them so that they become almost invisible, the ivory colour shapers would be an idea tool for this.

This is such a good question that we will bring this up on our next live radio programme where I can give a better explanation on this touchy subject.

By | 2018-03-15T15:13:21+00:00 March 11th, 2015|Portraits|0 Comments