Today’s submission comes from artist Talitha Spaink. You can view more of her work on her facebook pageThis portrait was Talitha’s second time using pan pastels, and she had just started drawing a few months before that! WOW! This is SO well drawn out, which means you started with a solid foundation. You’ve got beautiful shading and your lights and darks are in the right spot…which is huge because those highlights and shadows determine the underlying bone and muscular structure of your subject!


I’ve only got a couple of tips for you. The first is to hype up the contrast even more. Contrast is scary, especially when we’re first starting out. You can have all the detail in the world. Your drawing can be perfect…but if you don’t have enough contrast, people won’t really stop to look at the piece. We want viewers to spend more time looking at our work, and strong contrast is a great way to make that happen.


In my sample above, it’s the same exact drawing. But notice how your eye is drawn to the one with more contrast.


Look at what a difference hyping up the contrast does for yours too! You just have to get over being scared! One way that may make it easier, when you think you’re finished, take a photo with your phone and hype up the contrast with your photo editor. If it looks better, it’s easier to see how much darker you can safely go on your own work!


My last tip is to spend a little more time on your details. Sharpen up some of the edges (like around the ears for example) to help him to have an even more three dimensional look. Right now everything is very soft, which is pretty typical of pan pastels, we like to blend them a LOT, but make sure you get some of those harsher sharp edges in there too to balance it all out.