We had two models today. My model had clothing that reminded me of the new True Grit movie, but I couldn't get into painting the entire image. So I focused on what I know. The other model had gypsy inspired clothing. I took photos of both of the models and I hope to paint them later this week.
pastel on 16 x 20 inch mounted wallis paper
I also wanted to share a very basic description about my process since a few asked at the session.
I start with vine charcoal and play with placement. It doesn't always work the first time, but I need to see it on the paper before I decide. Sometimes, like today, I sketched in a landscape format, didn't like it, so turned to portrait and did that twice before I found something I wanted to continue. In my studio, I usually do thumbnails, but at these sessions I just go for it.
Then I start with soft pastels (Terry Ludwig's mostly) and block in large and small areas using three basic values. The rest of the time I spend measuring, tweaking, adding more color... I used a wet sponge on a nu pastel base for the background and used soft pastel for additional color. I have a heavy hand and don't blend too much. If I do it is with my pinky. I also do what I call a "picture walk" and step away from the painting every so often. What you think you see up close can look so different from a distance.
We had a three hours session today. I spent about 2 hours of work time on this. I always find things I could tweak after I walk away for a while. If I could go back I would sharpen some of the eye structure, highlights and define the shoulder on the right side of the image.