Child Portraits: “Girl in Pink” revisited

I spent Australia Day afternoon with my last piece of grey PastelMat paper and a quick painting of the Girl in Pink.

I was feeling a little lazy when I started so didn’t do a detailed preliminary sketch… I just half-heartedly placed a few lines on the page to make sure the head would fit where I wanted it to then I launched in with the colour.

This is as close to “living on the edge” as I get.

It often takes me a while to settle on the colours I want to use. I can start with a carefully chosen palette then discard it halfway through. Here I start with an orangey-brown colour for darks and a yellow-ochre for lights.

First sketch of girl in pink

Living on the edge


I grab one of my super-soft “intense darks” pastels from my Terry Ludwig set – a purple so dark it looks black – and mark a few spots here and there for the hair. I also start working on the eyes.


Girl in pink second sketch

Scary stage?

And here are my beloved Terry Ludwig “Intense Darks” ordered from America.

Terry Ludwig Dark pastel sets

My Terry Ludwigs

More work on the eyes and the lips…. and another (redder) Terry Ludwig lands in the hair. Some pink also creeps in.

Third sketch of Girl in Pink

Still looking pretty scary!

A little bit of blending to smooth things out, a few touches of red and pink in the face.

Fourth sketch of girl in pink


Child portraits require a soft touch but the PastelMat paper grips the pastel so tightly it can be difficult to smudge with your fingers. So I use a Sofft sponge to blend. Here are two of my Sofft sponges, each with a different edge.


Soft Sponges

"Sofft" Sponges


Getting close now – a little more definition here and there, some blue in the shadows, bringing in some yellow, gold and orange for warmth….



Fifth sketch Girl in Pink

Getting cuter


Softening the hair, dragging some of the hair colour over the face to create wisps… touches of light blue and light purple for highlights.


Et voila! A light and fresh portrait of a gorgeous little child.

Girl in Pink Revisited

Child Portrait: Girl in Pink Revisited


I ordered my Terry Ludwig Pastels and my PastelMat paper from this online art store in America

This store is a pastel-lovers dream! They often have great specials and free postage… if you are in America. The postage to me was about $50!

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Filed under Child Portraits, Portrait Painting Children, Portrait Paintings, Portraits

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