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Demo March 2017 - Peter Dalziel

Demo Evening ReportsPosted by Maggie Goodsell Sat, March 25, 2017 09:41AM
Demonstration 7th March 2017 - Peter Dalziel, Pastel Portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge
report by Maggie Goodsell

Peter started by telling us a bit about his background, including his new venture as a cruise ship art tutor for Fred Olsen. He said that he prefers to do portraits from a photograph as sitters tend to move about.

Peter told us that it is best to get an overall plan first rather than concentrating on detail too soon. This picture demonstrates the use of triangles to establish the relative positions of the features of a face.

Working from a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge, Peter sketched out the main lines using conte pastel on tinted pastel paper.

Peter used a fairly gentle background to help project the image forward.

Defining the face

Progress of an eye - Peter said to remember that when painting eyes you are basically painting part of a golf ball.

Peter used a tinged white to blend the colours on the face, taking note of the contours when blending.

Peter said that he prefers not to paint teeth but if you have to, the trick is to paint the shadow around them and then use a blender to lightly pull the pastel down to form the teeth.

When using pastel Peter, being right handed, works from left to right across the picture to avoid smudging. He said he would normally do both eyes at once to get them the same colour.

It was at this stage that Peter realised that he hadn't quite got the eyes right. In the studio he would have rubbed off the pastel on the offending eye - he thought probably the first one - and started again.

Peter said that a portrait would normally take him 3-5 hours - he managed an impressive amount of detail in just 2 hours.

Peter & the Duchess of Cambridge.

A selection of paintings by Peter in a range of media


Thanks to Peter for an interesting & informative demonstration

Peter's Tips

Peter uses a double ended blender, very useful for quickly making different marks

A blender can be used to pick up colour and use it elsewhere.

The top lip is usually darker than the bottom one.

Shading in the corner of an eye will give it roundness

When painting commissions Peter likes to see where the picture is going to hang as this enables him to paint the background in a sympathetic colour