Fast, loose, and small (a quick daily painting)

"Boy" 6 x 6 Chalk Pastel on Paper
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I had a little 6 x 6 piece of black Canson paper left, and I was feeling portrait-ish. I didn't feel like getting trapped in the realistic painting vortex, so I flipped through my Egyptian museum photos. One of them has many figurines in it, and all I could see was the head of shoulders of what looked like an Egyptian boy. I used a pink-orange tone to start, and added bright yellow and green blue to finish the shape of the quick sketch with the pastels.

So how did it end up so blue? I began smearing (my weakness) and adding a touch of black and lots of dark blue. As I smeared and highlighted, the shape of the boy's head and shoulders rose from the pastel dust, and became a recognizable face. I left it loose and soft, since I was working from a pretty tiny reference, and because it left the boy with a little mystery.

It was really hard to stop when I did, but I figured it was better to stop too early than to ruin it with too much detail. This is always the battle for me, and I'll probably spend way too much time layering in color on top of color in the next one to make up for it. On a side note, I'm finding that when I need to paint small, it helps to fill those smaller pieces of paper up with large subjects, rather than killing my eyes on a bunch of tiny details.

In other news, "Egyptian Pitchers" was featured in two groups on Red Bubble-- I wasn't even sure I wanted to add that piece, but now I'm extremely glad I did!


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