Greg Mason Burns

Technique Instruction: Pastel Portraits

Pastel Portraits

Pastel Portraits: Self-portrait – oil pastel on glass (2013)

I paint mostly with oils, but I have ventured into the realm of oil pastels at times with some success with portraits. In fact, probably three of my most popular works have been oil pastel paintings (seen below). I recently came across this step-by-step pastel portrait link by Gwenneth Barth-White, and thought it would be nice to share. It actually more follows how I build up my oil paintings (though I’m much less deliberate and more emotional instead), but it’s still nice to see a good process. Enjoy:

I painted quite a few oil pastel portraits over the years, but many of my newer works have been in oil. I’ve even ventured into photography, albeit in an abstract sense. Actually, many of my newest portraits are abstract regardless of style. I’m not sure why I made the change. Maybe it’s because I’m seeking something that’s missing in the concept of the portrait or the person I’m painting. Or maybe my technical skills have been built up using abstract techniques over the years. I’m not entirely sure, but these were a fun project while they lasted.

Pastel, Portrait, Instruction, Technique

“Greg” – pastel on paper – 7″ × 13″- by Gwenneth Barth-White

Pastel Portraits

Portrait of Tom Beyer – oil pastel on glass (2013)

Pastel Portraits

Portrait of Nivea Bona – oil pastel on glass (2013)