9 Oct 2007

figure painting in pastel - to crop or not!

(pastel on Colorfix paper)

It's quite a while since I did any pastel work and I am beginning to miss it. I'm almost ready to set up to do some more, in fact. And that is not such a small thing as my work space demands that I pack up most of my acrylic paints, pots and palettes so that I will have enough room to lay out my pastels. Maybe in a couple more weeks I will be ready to try it!

Meanwhile this pastel painting met with a mixed reception and looking at it again after decent interval I can see things that I do not like! .... but it does have some nice bits to it. So I am wondering whether or not some cropping might be an improvement .... I feel the rendering of the two figures does not marry together somehow. Plus the fact that a few people have said that they do not care for the sheep!!

How about if I did something like this? -

Please feel free to comment or perhaps cast your vote in my POLL at the top of the right-hand column. I do hope you will!


Mary said...

Oh this is so gorgeous! I love that red background and your loose beautiful strokes on the hair. Woderful work, Lesly!

leslyf said...

thank you, Mary - this brick red Colorfix is my vert favourite to work on in pastel. Sometimes I more or less cover it all with colour but other times I leave a lot untouched as here. I love this base colour so much that I have even tried it for acrylic paintings .... BUT have not had much success with those as yet!

Lovely to see you here. xx

Jafabrit said...

I like the girl with the daisy the best, and the hair wow, is just fabulous. Somehow I feel the girls are not meshed because the girl on the right her skin isn't finished in the same way as the girl with the daisy. The skin tones are not as blended and her features are not as well defined.The red background is so rich and lush I love it. What I see is a disinterest between the girls, one is trying to pet the sheep, the other girl isn't interested, yet the sheep is looking up at the girl who isn't interested. Perhaps that is what is causing discomfort, the lack of relationship between all the elements. I don't mind the sheep, I think what bothers me the most is the different styles of depicting the girls (one more loose and one more refined).

I think if you really want to crop, then I go with the girl with the daisy, just beautiful.

leslyf said...

Thank you for those comments, Corrinne. They echo mine exactly. The two girls certainly came out quite differently!

For pastel work I start from upper left and work to the right and downwards so the girl with the daisy was done first. As I progressed I started working more loosely and the girl on the right came out more 'impressionistic' and less 'portraitly'.

I will think about it some more - maybe it would be better to crop the painting into two smaller ones rather than go back and try to change things. Ho-hum!

I so appreciate the input ... you see it just as I do. And, by the way, I just love painting hair in pastel!

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Lesly, I love both girls. I would crop it right in the middle and lose the sheep. (I'm a cowgirl. Ha.) Both girls are great. I don't mind the difference in completion. Second if I did crop in two, I would show more of the hand with the daisy.

Lovely work whichever way you go. Pastels are so fun and the hair is great.


leslyf said...

Hi Jo - thank you for commenting, and I think that if I do crop in two then losing the sheep is the way to go! I am not going to rush into anything but will post again if I do the crop for real. xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful work.

leslyf said...

And thank YOU, Anonymous, for leaving such a nice comment.

Philip said...

My vote is not to crop it!

leslyf said...

Welcome Philip! .... I still can't make up my mind, - probably it will just stay where it is in the cupboard!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work...makes me want to dust off my old pastels! I think that the girls possibly should've either been both interacting with the each other and/or the sheep, or both posing, as daisy girl is. I think you should definatly crop into two. :)