Pastel Portrait of a Woman with Her Hair Braided Up, Painted at the Palette & Chisel in Chicago

Jesse with Her Hair Braided Up, 16x20, Soft Pastel on Board, 04/07/2012

Jesse with Her Hair Braided Up, 16x20, Soft Pastel on Board, 04/07/2012

Jesse with Her Hair Braided Up, 16×20, Soft Pastel on Board, 04/07/2012

A few weeks ago I did a portrait of Jesse, who has posed for us numerous times at the Palette & Chisel. Unfortunately, I arrived slightly late and ended up in a conspicuous location, but I think I made the best of my situation. The portrait depicts Jesse looking to the left of the painting. Her shoulders and breasts are bare, and her hair is braided up in an up-do.

The lighting in this painting offered me the opportunity to paint the flyaways of of her hairdo contrasting against the dark background which also allowed me to paint the reflective lighting on the back of her head and shoulders. The color palette is somewhat monochromatic or duo-tone, if you will, and consists of cool highlights and mid-tones against warm shadows and has the feeling of being an antique portrait that was sepia toned.