Portraits in Pastels and Charcoal

I offer a few approaches to portrait drawings on paper: 

 

A drawing may be monochrome in graphite or charcoal.  Or, a classic drawing technique uses three tones (“trois crayons”) of sanguine (red), black, and white - as in the portrait of the girl on the right below.   For this portrait, I first prepared acid-free paper with a watercolor wash, then worked in Conté and charcoal.  Conté pencils combine pastel pigment with a waxy base that produces a less fragile surface than softer chalk pastels.   The toddler on the website Welcome page was also drawn in three tones.

 

A richer range of pastel pigments can offer a variety of textures as well as color, as in the portrait of the dog on the left below, done on toned paper.  Wet nose, shining eyes and soft fur are achieved with a combination of pastel drawing pencils, charcoal and white chalk.   (See other examples of related techniques in my website “Drawings” album.)

 

Soft drawing materials produce a somewhat fragile surface, and so must be placed under acid-free mats or spacers and framed under glass to protect the drawing.

 

At the client’s request, I can obtain custom matting and framing and add these costs to the price of the portrait.

Pastel pencils and charcoal on toned paper.

3- color portrait over watercolor wash

All images on this website copyrighted by Sandra J Cohen.  These images copyright 2011 and 2012.