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Trevor Root’s Pastel Portrait Demonstrations – 9th Oct 2023

Portrait of Cliff Irvine

Trevor Root, one of our long standing members, gave our membership a couple of demonstrations on drawing portraits in pastels, at our meeting on 9th October.

The first portrait, of popular committee member, Cliff Irvine, took just 20 minutes to complete.

Trevor had taped a piece of beige coloured pastel paper to a board and mounted this on his easel.
He mentioned that having a coloured ground is very helpful to the pastel artist, and he added that would rarely work on a piece of white paper, as it would take far too much work! 

He used a charcoal pencil to achieve the outline of Cliff’s head, and added in the shape of his spectacles, eyes, hair and beard.  Trevor then moved on to selecting the pastel colours he wanted, to achieve a close appreciation of Cliff’s different skin tones.  Once satisfied with Cliff’s face, he went on to reproduce the many different shades of his hair and beard, before completing the head and shoulders portrait, with the addition of Cliff’s neck, shirt and jacket.

Trevor surprised us, by saying that he sets the pastels on his finished works with hairspray! 

Portrait of Sue Roots

Trevor’s second portrait demonstration, was of one of our favourite abstract artist members, Sue Roots.  Sue’s portrait took a little longer to complete.

Trevor set up his easel and board with a piece of mid-blue pastel paper, to match the colour of Sue’s eyes.  Again, he used his charcoal pencil, but this time he began with sketching in the shape of Sue’s distinctive spectacles, and her eyes within the frames, before going on to outline her head shape and other facial features.

He took great care in choosing the right shades to be able to blend Sue’s facial skin tones, then stopped for a break and a well earned cuppa, whilst the membership made a close inspection of his work in progress.  Ten minutes later, he returned to the challenging task of Sue’s fashionably tousled mane of hair.  Sue’s hairstyle is very distinctive, with many different shades of taupe, light brown and blonde intertwined. It took Trevor some time to find the right selection of colours, and he tested out a fair few in the margin of his paper, before he was satisfied that he’d found the precise shades he wanted to tackle the task.

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