pastel portrait of a smiling couple in pastel

Paul and Jan – WIP pastel portrait of my brother and his wife

pastel portrait of a smiling couple in pastel

Paul and Jan, WIP, 11×14″ pastel on paper. ©Marie Marfia.

Paul and Jan, WIP. 11×14″ pastel on sanded paper of a smiling couple. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Pastel portrait of Paul and Jan

This is coming along pretty well. At least, I’m pleased with it so far, although I’m carefully telling myself not to fall in love with it yet because that makes it more difficult to finish.

This is my second attempt at a portrait of my brother, Paul, and his wife, Jan. The first time the reference photo was just too low-resolution to work. I don’t like to get too detailed with my portraits but that doesn’t mean I can work without any detail at all. This year I brought my SLR camera to the reunion instead of relying on my phone and ended up with a much better photo selection.

This portrait is based on two separate photos, one of Paul that I took and another one of Jan that someone else had taken at the same event. The photo of Jan showed her with her head tilted sideways and standing under a picnic shelter, so the light on her face was a lot different from the picture of Paul, who was sitting out in the sunshine. Thanks to Photoshop I was able to match the colors so that I could work from a reference that looked like they actually posed together. Hurray!

Here are time-lapse videos of the progress on this portrait so far. Hopefully, I’ll have it done by next week’s email. Stay tuned!

Hope to finish soon. Stay tuned!


If you’d like to commission a portrait, please send me an email or give me a call, 904-566-4473. I love painting faces and yours (or someone you love) could be next on my easel!

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