Tuesday 11 February 2014

Portrait done with Oil Pastels

I am still busy with catching up on my Soul Food classes after the holidays and today I finally dared take the leap into portraiing in colour!

I still remember how I hated it during my arts studies (and I was so afraid of it that I just HAD to s*** at it ;). Teachers did not show us how to do it, but expected us to find out for ourselves - and I obviously followed the wrong how-tos, because today I was able to put aside all those fears of failure and just dive in!

And I really love the outcome of my first try following Jeanette House's fabulous tutorial although my nearly eleven year old son looks as if he was in his twenties already *lol! But I managed to capture his special smile and his big bright eyes aaaand...yes...that freakin' skin-tone that I always found so hard to paint.

This time I started with the eyes when I drew the sketch with a pencil. Sometimes I start with the nose and the mouth... actually I am not sure on what it depends.

Although I am a really bad painter I managed to work my way towards something that looks like real skin with the oil pastels rather easily. They are very forgiving when it comes to re-doing a layer of colour that turned out too dark or simply the wrong colour for this place.

And although at this very moment I find - while writing this post - that I have to correct that one spot on the nose (to the right) where you can see what looks like I had drawn a second (smaller) side of the nose, I am quite relaxed because I know I can just cover that up as often as I need to ;)
I hope you don't mind if I don't take any new pictures to show the (slightly) enhanced portrait. It is my very first try in colour and now that I finally know how to approach this I will surely do some more some time (to keep up practicing).

You can see how I worked my way around the cheeks and the eye, the nose and the mouth...and I like that my "traces" I made with the oil pastels are visible. It avoids letting the surface look too smooth (and therefore un-real, but at the same time too close to real, which most of the time looks a bit awkward).

Sadly I had to take images in artificial light because it is grey in grey (as usual) outside. But I hope you get an idea of the colours.

Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at my efforts ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia x


  1. And this is your first try!! Don't stop painting Claudia, your Son's portrait is fabulous, I love how you did his eyes and the skin looks amazing..... you are a very talented lady! Anne xx

  2. Claudia, ich sitze hier mit offenem Mund vor dem Bildschirm und kann nicht glauben, daß Du Dich als "bad painter" bezeichnest. Das Portrait ist unglaublich. So dynamisch und lebendig! Mit Ölpastellen zu malen war sicher auch nicht die einfachste Wahl.
    Ich wünschte ich könnte so zeichnen, aber ich schätze mir fehlt einfach die Geduld zur Übung...
    Alles Liebe, Manuela

  3. absolut wundervoll ! Nö er sieht nicht aus wie 20 ... das bildest Du Dir ein..
    fabelhaft sieht das aus - absolut kunstvoll und perfekt !

    liebe Grüße

  4. Wow das ist mir gleich ins Auge gestochen so genial liebe Claudia und ein schöner wiederbeginn für meine Blog abzinens. so schön - liebe Grüsse SanDee1899

  5. You've captured the skin tone so well, and I agree that being able to see the strokes of the pastel adds so much texture and interest to the portrait. I don't know him, of course, but it seems to me that you've captured a real personality in your painting - alive and bubbling. Bravo!
    Alison xx

  6. Fabulous Claudia, great to see you do this kind of work. I swear he looks like you (well from the photo anyway...) Such a skilful drawing, and to me he definitely looks much more like a boy than a 20 year old...

  7. Wonderful portrait, the person shines through!

  8. Ein schönes Porträt!
    Der Gesichtsausdruck ist toll, die Farbwahl gefällt mir besonders, gerade der Grauton gibt dem Gesicht etwas Einzigartiges.

    Mit Ölpastellen tue ich mich recht schwer, deshalb finde es toll, wie gut Du damit umgehen kannst.


  9. Ein super gelungenes und lebendiges Portrait ist das liebe Claudia, gefällt mir sehr. Du hast diesen wachen und verschmitzen Blick genial getroffen und die Textur der Kreidestriche macht das Ganze auch sehr lebendig.
    Liebe Grüße

  10. wow, da steckt ein Künstler dahinter. Gerade Porträts find ich besonders schwierig, da jeder Strich eine neue Mimik bringt, Hut ab Klasse geworden!
    LG Kerstin

  11. Whoa...oil pastels portrait of your son...I don’t know anything about painting, but I can tell you...I think he looks beautiful (ok I don’t how he look in real live), I don’t see any mistakes and skin tone is just perfect!

  12. Liebe Claudia, gerade das Lachen ist so schwer zu malen und das verschmitze Lächeln hast Du grandios echt udn lebendig hinbekommen. Ein hübsches Kerlchen nebenbei*g* Du solltest auf jeden Fall weiter malen, wenn's Dir Spaß macht.
    Ich wünsch Dir einen schönen Sonntag,
    LG Anja


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