Friday 22 April 2016

Rabindranath Tagore - A portrait study using white pastel pencils

In September 2015 I posted about the Strathmore Artagain 400 series black paper. It is a
fairly new paper in my collection and was recommended by a friend who is also passionate
about art. I used it just once to try out a tree sketch as given below and loved it. It has a
fine grain textured surface which works fine with white pastel pencils.

Tree sketching on strathmore paper using white pastel pencil. By Manju Panchal

The idea of using Strathmore black paper for sketching a portrait was working on my mind
since long and therefore I finally decided to start off with study sketch. Study sketch because
its a new paper and it will take me a few portrait works to understand what technique will
work best. Will I have to blend a lot or just create scribbling and strokes ? There are a whole
lot of questions in mind which get answered only when I actually sit down to sketch.

The subject I selected for my portrait study is Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, a poet, philosoper and an artist. ( Photograph courtesy : Wikipedia )

Sketching on black paper, I realised is a lot different as all the tonal values have to be
created using only the white pencils. The colour of the paper acts as the darkest tone.
As always sketching a portrait is more challenging than doing a landscape or still life work.
It is challenging but a very satisfying experience too. I enjoyed my step by step
involvement in creating this work and would definitely work more towards it.

Portrait study sketch of Rabindranath Tagore by Manju Panchal

Portrait study of
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore 
on black Strathmore paper

The three different pastel pencils that I have used for the above portrait study are as seen in the 
image below. I have been using these three brands frequently for my other works too.

1. Conte A Paris white pastel pencil
2. Cretacolour White pastel pencil
3. General soft white pastel pencil

The other tools used apart from the above pencils are a kneaded eraser, normal eraser and 
blending tools. The pencils as above are available at ART STATION, Andheri West OR
the next best thing which I find easy and it saves time too is to check it out on online stores
like FLIPKART, AMAZON or SNAPDEAL. These days many art products are easily
available online and at discount too.

Some time back I had ordered CRETACOLOUR water soluble graphite pencils from
AMAZON. I received it and I have used it in combination with Camlin water soluble
graphite sticks to create some beautiful study works. Will be posting about it soon.

Thanks for browsing and I would love to read your comments if any.

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