This is a quick pastel portrait of my Grandson.

This was done from a photo, but I prefer to do portraits, especially childrens' portraits, by using a camcorder to record them 'in action' for a while, as you get a better all-round 'picture' of them, and can select a 'typical' view or expression.

Pastels are particularly suited to children's portraits, because it is easy to keep them loose and fresh (the pastels, not the children!).

Although pastels can be worked in a more detailed way, if the client wishes, I prefer to use a looser technique for this kind of portrait.

For formal portraits, however, an oil painting enables a more 'polished' appearance, and is usually the choice when an imposing portrait is required.

Obviously, a portrait of great aunt Lou (deceased) can be done from a single favourite photograph, but a collection of photographs makes it much easier to get a 'feel' for the subject, and results in a better painting.

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