'L'automne (Sarah's Hair)'
Shortlisted for the Pastel Society UK Open Exhibition 2020.
Soft Pastel on Ingres Paper
Image Size: 39x25cm
Date: October 2017
This drawing was created as part of a series based on my niece, Sarah, and inspired by Italian Rennaisance art, combined with my long-standing love of English art and the work of artists such as Gwen John. My aim was to capture the essence of Autumn (a subtle nod to Botticelli in his work based on the seasons), through the use of earthy colours cast by the warm light on her face and hair as the sun went down. Her downward gaze was an attempt to create a feeling of introspection. Her hair is also a significant feature in showing the character of Sarah and her fastidious attention to detail in her appearance.
I used a combination of soft pastels and pastel pencils for this drawing. I love the intense colour and velvety texture that can be created with soft pastels and the fact that this type of drawing has many of the characteristics of a finished painting. I began this piece by carefully plotting the head to ensure accurate drawing and a well-balanced composition, before layering the colour. I used my fingers and a brush to blend and soften the marks to render the skin texture. Pastel pencils were used to pick out the finer details. The hair is much more loosely drawn to suggest the direction of the strands.
Location: Duault, Côtes d'Armor, Brittany