McCalls
pictures and words by paul mccall
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03/05/07
An Unusual Commission
Filed under: Studio Painting
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 6:25 pm

This was an unusual commission on two levels. There was a time pressure, as this pastel portrait will most probably be displayed at the subject’s funeral. She goes in for a surgical procedure soon and only has a 33% chance of coming out of it alive. And even then the doctors only give her a few more weeks. So she’s been making her final arrangements. Unusual also in that I don’t work in pastels. I don’t like them. But considering the situation I did it. From a photo, of course, and unfortunately, only the one photo was provided. (When an artist has to work from photos it’s better to have several photographs from which to work that capture as many angles of the subject as possible.) Also the straight on pose isn’t the best choice but again, the time pressure.

I was surprised in that I enjoyed working with the pastels but I was also reminded of some of the aspects I don’t like. Blending the various colors at times seems to threaten to rub a hole in the paper (at least as I do it!). But this experience has shown me that pastels aren’t to be completely avoided as I have for about 45 years!

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