Tuesday, January 4, 2011

After first sitting with Cerise

Cerise Arbour commissioned me to do a pastel portrait of her daughter Cerise. She wanted it done from life so “Little Cerise” could have the experience. Cerise (mother) had sat for a pastel portrait when she was little and remembered it fondly.

I had Little Cerise sit in my studio by the window. During the first sitting we had a lovely warm light and I wanted to stick with that. I was conscious of the cool shadows on the right side of her face and really wanted that to come through.
Cerise had such soft features. It was an exercise in subtlety for me. Hard angles and dramatic lighting are much easier to capture.

I had Cerise wear a shirt of mine at our first sitting because the dress that was to be in the finished piece had yet to come in. She came to the sitting in a yellow shirt and it was reflecting way too much of that yellow up onto her chin. The pink shirt softened that and made for a better transition into the final color scheme.

I took this photo to help determine the composition and get Cerise back into the pose when she came again. I posterized the image in photoshop to remove detail. She was a great model and held the pose very well. The first 40 minutes of our 2 hour sessions were great!

This was at the end of the first sitting.

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