Within the literature in general, not a great deal appears about portraiture in any medium and I’m not aware of any books that are devoted to it in pastel.
What you get in this rather excellent little film is a pretty much complete demonstration of a formal portrait, beginning from the basic sketch and building up the shape of the picture before adding colour. Gwenneth manages the none-too-easy skill of painting and talking at the same time and her commentary is both full and helpful.
Inevitably, you’re going to want other media and maybe a few other painting styles as well, particularly something less stiff and composed, but this isn’t really possible within the confines of a single programme and we can only hope that this DVD will be sufficiently successful to encourage other productions.
Although it’s tricky to translate techniques from one medium to another, this is probably worth a look (I think Amazon have it on their rental list) even if you’re not really a pastellist.
First published 2005