I just returned from a refreshing and inspiring family vacation to Europe. We visited family in Germany, and managed to make lasting memories there as well as in Holland, Belgium, and France. I also hosted my first European art workshop in Duesseldorf, Germany. This is the city where my wife was born, attended University and my father-in-law worked his entire professional life. It was a very meaningful experience for us!
Artists often ask me which brand of hard pastels I use, as well as what specific colors are in my portrait palette. Well, to answer this question once and for all, I've created a chart of my favorite NuPastel portrait colors, along with a collection of grays that I keep in my portrait palette. I purchase these NuPastels in single sticks online from resellers like Jerry's Artarama. All the numbers on this chart correspond with the official NuPastel color chart numbers, so you can easily order them yourself. If you want to learn how to sharpen these to a point, watch my video where I given a demonstration. I hope you find this helpful!
Many have contacted me after watching my pastel portrait DVD's with Artist Network.TV, asking how I sharpen my hard pastels. This video will show you how! Learn my simple technique for sharpening your hard pastels and improving the details of your pastel paintings.
Live Street Portraits by Alain J. Picard
Westport's Art About Town kicked off with an opening night street party Thursday night, May 30. I had a wonderful time painting live pastel portraits on the streets of downtown Westport. With all the hustle and bustle of the crowd, the excitement of artists painting, live dance performances and music, it really was an amazing experience.
While there is a vast array of beautiful people throughout the world, and a multitude of ethnic backgrounds, I find it helpful to group them into 6 basic skin types in order to approach the process of painting skin tones in a pastel portrait. Here is a chart I've created representing the 6 basic skin types; pale, fair, medium, olive, naturally brown, and very dark brown/black. My portrait palette box is organized to represent all of these skin types, so that I'm always prepared for any skin type I may encounter. Samples of each skin type are represented below.