Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Look what I found today

Scrolling through old photos today and I found this one. It brings back lots of memories. My husband and I worked on this together just before we were married. We did alot of pastel portraits together then, which we usually sold, but we gave this one to my mother.

We had an unusual partnership. My husband excelled at the basic sketch and loved putting in the first layer of colour, he liked the rough but acurate line or pastel work, it was his forte.

I was not fussed on drawing the basic sketch but loved building the basic sketch up with fine detail. I don't like putting on the first layer of pastel but relish bringing the base pastel work to life. Dh doesn't have patience for doing my work and I never had patience for doing his! We complimented each other perfectly. I relied on his wonderful accuracy. He relied on my life-like finishes. We did traditional pastel work together.

Then we stopped. We had a family and didn't have that time to work together.

A portrait of my three oldest children, transformed into angels, which went on the cover of a Catholic CD dedicated to angels.

Then in the year 2000 I resumed by myself, with a totally different style of pastel work. It was a style that allowed me to at least escape the tedious build up of heavy pastels. It was a style inspired by my great love of old black and white photos that in the 70's were touched up with colour.

This was a style where I used Schmincke Pastels a brand of pastel that is particularly soft, if you drop it, it's shattered! I worked primarily with two colours, a grey with a slight reddish hue and white. I also had a deep blush colour, a blue and a brown. Those three colours were to create the 'colour on black and white' look. I used charcoal pencils to give more definition to the orginal sketch. I used a grey, texture paper with a redish hue to it.

So I draw the picture and then I pull out....some very small, fine paintbrushes. Yes, paintbrushes! I gently rub the paintbrush onto the end of the soft pastel stick and apply the pastel onto the paper in that manner. It creates a lovely translucent look.
My husband was my greatest praise, my toughest critic, I love him for it.
This is my great grandmother, I was commission to do this by a second cousin, it's funny working on a photo of someone where you are saying to yourself, "There's such and such's nose, there so and so's jawline!"
This portrait and a touch of colour, Max had beautiful blue eyes and lovely ruddy cheeks, a touch of colour in his lips. Unfortunately I photographed this in black and white!

My uncle. He was Australian through and through! When we had this framed for my cousin, we found a great piece of old timber with paint peeling off and had a frame built from that, it looked great!

My sister. The photo I worked on was taken in an old, stone church with light filtering through across her face. It was lovely capturing the light patterns of her face. This was another one I photographed in black and white. The orginal painting has her in a crimson dress and crimson lips, everything else is black and white, an interesting contrast.

Well, that was a nice walk down memory lane... I haven't done a portrait in a few years now, beading has sort of taken it's place at present. I hope to get back into it again one day, probably to do a matching 'angels' portrait of my three youngest children.


Mary G said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! You need to start up again!

Blessings and enjoyed the walk with you ....

Cay G. said...

What a surprise and a delight.
You are a truly gifted artist!!!

May God bless the work of your hands. I am SO impressed. :-)
Love, Cay

Spinneretta said...

Oh you should get back into it :) There are a lot of us homeschooling Mamas in some of our Art groups...
Everydaymatters is probably my favourite :)
Lovely, lovely pictures!

Ruth said...

These are so beautiful, Anne. You are both so incredibly talented.

little sparrow , florasita , sticklady , strong tree woman said...

Beautiful !

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Such a precious God-given gift you have, Anne.