The painting process

Here are a few videos showing the process from start to finish. Technique often differs from one portrait to the next. This is a life-long learning process, there always seems to be something elusive that is almost in reach, and of course you constantly grasp for it.

I find these videos to be very useful for myself. When I do experiments for too long, I tend to get lost somehow, and suddenly I don't know how to work anymore... At times like these, watching my own videos helps me get back in tracks.

That said, The first three videos show the basic principle of how I "usually" work : I start by covering the whole surface in colour, using large, but light strokes, simply suggesting the portrait.
When everything seems in place, I do a drawing with a sepia lead, which then gradually disappears under the layers of pastel.

All of these pastels were done in an hour, more or less.

Pastel Portrait of young russian singer Vlad Krutskikh. The music in the video is one of his songs, Zavalinka.

In the next video, each time I pick up a new colour, I make a mark with it on the small sheet of paper to the right.

Pastel portrait of a drummer boy

In the following portrait of Natalia, the process is really the same as in the first two. There are a couple of differences, however : for one thing, the paper itself is tinted, not white, and the other difference is that I do not blend the first layer of pastel.

Notice how in the middle of the process I realized one eye was too low so that I had to reajust it.

Pastel portrait of Natalia Gousseva in a russian mini-series from the 1980s, called Guest from the Future

The next two pastels are done using Panpastels which are very soft pastels that are not shaped into sticks. Instead, they are in small pans, and you apply them with special sponges and other tools.

Notice That there is no drawing, so that I can easily change my mind in the middle of the process and you can see shapes change all of a sudden.

Pastel Portrait of Alessa & Van Chaos from russian group Klimbatika. You can hear Van Chaos singing Vozvrashhenie.
Pastel of breton children at a festival
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