Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Newborn Portrait - Midtone Stage

I took this photo late, this afternoon, so the colours are, again, a bit faded and the picture is slightly blurred. Seeing the portrait come together, like this, gives me a better idea of the adjustments that I will have to make. I can see that a lot more contrast is needed. I will need to apply more darks to the shadows of the baby's face to improve depth and create interest - at the moment, it is looking quite bland.

The adult face is at a particularly ugly stage, right now. I have applied washes of cream, pale peach, jasmine and pale pink (a Coloursoft pencil, as there is no suitably pale pink in the Prismacolor range that I have).

On top of the washes, I have begun the modelling of the face, using a number of different colours, including yellow ochre, rosy beige, pink rose, salmon pink, peach, rose beige, blush pink, mineral orange, pink, brown ochre and pumpkin orange. As always, I use a very light touch and move from light to dark through the tonal range. Next, I will continue to apply the darker browns, reds, and, even blue/purple shades, blending them together with further washes of peach and pink colours.

As I have been experimenting, I have discovered that my problems with the Coloursoft pencils were more a consequence of there being a too limited range of colours available, rather than there being a quality issue. Because of insufficient midtone colours, I had to move up to the darker colours too soon and this affected the smooth, flawless skin texture that I was aiming for. Now, I have a good range of Prismacolours, with some of the paler pinks and peaches of the Coloursoft range making up the perfect combination for my style.


  1. You have an amazing eye for detail, Vicky. I noticed this in your last portrait and am watching it come forward in this one. The hand and the baby's face look so real - as if you could reach out, touch it, and feel real skin. In Joel's portrait the juice box looked like you could sip out of it!

  2. It's so interesting to see the face without the hair around it. But I'm looking forwards to seeing it when the skin is finished too.

  3. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Mary:)

    You are right that the details are really important in getting a realistic effect. The challenge to get the details right and achieve realism is one of the enjoyable parts of this sort of style.

    I really appreciate your input, Mary - thank you for taking time to comment:)

  4. There's a bit of an eerie look about an unfinished face or a face that has lost its hair, isn't there? I'm at a useful stage to experiment with Megan's hairstyle and see what she might look like with a mohawk!:)


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky