pastel & oil portrait workshop supplies 2013(no easel) · pdf file 2019. 1....

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  • William Schneider Oil & Pastel Portrait Workshop Supplies List

    I suggest the following supplies; most can be ordered on line at,,, or You can work in either medium (or both): I. Pastel Supplies

    1. Soft Pastels – (NOT oil pastels) Unison 72 stick “Starter” set is probably my top choice! Rembrandt also makes a good basic set. carries 30 and 60 half-stick sets and 30, 45, 60, and 90 full-stick sets. (Get the portrait set.) Sennelier, Terry Ludwig, and Great American pastels are more buttery but also a bit more expensive. Terry Ludwig’s “Intense Darks II” is a 30 stick set that is a welcome addition to any pastel set (it’s always hard to get pastels in the rich dark range.) 2. Pastel paper – Canson Mi-Teintes papers provide a decent support. I use: white, oyster, ivory, ivy, burgundy, and pearl. Sanded supports provide even more tooth. I like Wallis sanded papers and Ampersand Pastelboard. I love the Wallis but it’s hard on the hands unless you use the latex gloves. 3. Drawing Board – To hold the paper. 4. Newsprint -- I place several sheets beneath the pastel paper to act as a cushion. 5. Clamps – To hold the paper in place (You can get good cheap clamps at Home Depot.). 6. Misc. – Vine charcoal, sandpaper, masking tape (get the blue 3M tape at Home Depot or Menards or Lowes). Tight fitting latex surgical gloves (they protect your hands when working on sanded paper)

    II. Oil Supplies

    1. Portable Easel – French Easel, Open M Box, Soltek etc. 2. Canvas or linen – You can use stretched canvas, canvas panels, or sheets

    (taped to a drawing board) 12x16,14x18 or 16x20 (I prefer Claessens Oil Primed linen either stretched or stapled to a board

    3. Oil Paints – Preferably a warm and cool version of each primary e.g. Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Medium (or Rembrandt Permanent Red Medium); Yellow Ochre (or Raw Sienna); Cadmium Yellow Light and Cad. Lemon (or Holbein Permanent Yellow Deep and Permanent Yellow Light as substitutes); Ultramarine Blue and Ivory Black. I also find that Rembrandt Transparent Oxide Red or Brown is great for making transparent darks and Mineral Violet is convenient for mixing shadow colors. Alternately you could use a very limited palette (The Zorn Palette): Permanent Red Medium (Rembrandt brand) Yellow Ochre, and Ivory Black Of course you need white as well.

    4. Brushes – Bristle Flats (or Filberts) sizes 8, and 10 [I prefer Robert Simmons Signet ] -- Sable Flats sizes 2,4, 6 [I get my brushes from Rosemary & Co in the UK; the series 279 are awesome…and inexpensive. There is a button at

  • the top of her web page that converts pricing into dollars. (] I get my Simmons brushes at Jerry’s (

    5. Painting Knife 6. Gamsol (Odorless Mineral Spirits) – Please use Gamsol …we don’t want

    liver cancer. Utrecht sells it. 7. Painting Medium – You can make your own, 1 part linseed oil, 3 parts

    odorless mineral spirits. 8. Vine Charcoal – Not compressed. 9. Clamps – You can get large, cheap spring clamps at Lowes or Home Depot

  • Portrait Drawing “From the Inside Out” ©William A. Schneider

    Some thoughts As artists we generally learn our craft in the following sequence:

    1. Shapes – Drawing is the basic building block of representational art. And drawing is primarily measurement.

    2. Value – Next, we develop our abilities to see and render correct value relationships.

    3. Color Temperature – The relative warmth or coolness of colors in comparison to each other. (Think “warmer” or “cooler” than …) Seeing those relationships takes some time. But the good news is that as you look for them you will become more and more sensitized to nuances of temperature.

    4. Edges – The relative hardness or softness of edges is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to rendering an image.

    5. Design – Once you can create a convincing representation of a three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface (no small trick), there’s still another hill to climb. Good design trumps everything! By design I mean filling the space in a beautiful way.

    When I teach my workshops, I spend much of the time coaching students on drawing. Here is a method that will help you to draw accurately. Whether you ultimately adopt this method or some other, it is important that you have some systematic approach and follow the same steps every time. Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. A word on measurement This part of the process doesn’t feel very “arty”. In fact, it seems downright mechanical. But it’s like playing scales for a musician; you have to do it if you want to get good. However, here’s a promise: if you follow this method and draw one head a day for 6 months, you’ll be drawing like Raphael by the end! (I suggest buying a copy of Seventeen Magazine and drawing the models …using the following steps.)

  • The Steps

    1. Decide where you will place your subject on the paper. Decide how big you want to make the head make a mark for the top and the bottom. Note: I define the top of the head as the visible top of the hair. Place a center line (imagine that you drew a line down the middle of the model’s face, between the eyes and through the center of the lips to the chin.) Make sure the angle of the center line matches the model. (Think of the hour hand of a clock; is it 12:00? 11:45?) You will make your vertical measurements along this center line.

    2. Next, on the model (or the photo) measure the distance from [bottom of chin to inside corner of the eye] compared to [corner of eye to top of head]. Translate those proportions into the scale of the head you’re drawing. Make a mark to indicate the level of the inside corners of the eyes. (Are they half the distance between top of head & chin? Or are they closer to the chin? Is that line level? Or is there an angle? Again, think of the hour hand of a clock).

  • 3. Estimate how far the peaks of the eyebrows are above the level of the inside corner of the eyes. Make a mark. Check your estimate by comparing: [top of head to peak of eyebrow] compared to [peak of eyebrow to bottom of chin] Hint: the bottom measurement is usually 1 1/3 times the distance between top of head and peak of eyebrows.

    4. Compare [peak of eyebrow to bottom of nose] to [bottom of nose to base of chin].

    On the average person they are equal.

  • 5. Measure [base of the nose to the bottom of the lower lip] compared to [bottom of lower lip to bottom of chin]. (Again these are approximately equal.)

    6. How far above the lower lip is the bottom of the upper lip? Estimate that distance.

    How far above is the top of the upper lip?

    7. Now for a crucial step. This step links the horizontal unit of measurement to the vertical proportions. Measure the distance between the two inner corners of the eye. Now turn your measuring tool vertical and compare that distance to the distance from chin to bottom of lower lip. (The width between the eyes is usually a little bit smaller.)

  • 8. What is the width of each eye? (The average is about equal to the distance between the inner corners.) Are both eyes the same size? (If the head is rotated, the more distant eye will appear smaller.) Is the outer corner of the eye above or below the inner corner? Place another dot to indicate the outer corner.

    9. Once we have placed the eyes, we can drop plumb lines (vertical lines) to

    estimate the alignment of the nose and mouth. For example, the wing of the nose usually aligns with the inner corner of the eye; but depending on the rotation of the head, it may be to the left or right of the corner. I find it helpful to estimate where the cheekbones lie; this helps me feel the volume of the head.

  • 10. Indicate the eyes by making a series of straight lines that follow the shape of the bottom edge of the upper lid. Do not draw the bottom lid….its too easy to fall into the universal eye symbol if we do. (As kids we learn a symbol for an eye… an oval with a circle in the middle).

    11. You can softly indicate the irises. Now, where are the outer corners of the lips?

    Again use a plumb line to see where they line up relative to the eyes. Are the corners above or below the center of the lips?

  • 12. Now you can draw the bottom of the nose. Start to indicate the shape of the

    eyebrows. Next measure from the centerline (below the nose) to the edge of the cheek. Compare that distance to [bottom of chin to base of nose]. Note that I’m using straight lines to simplify the shape of the jaw line.

    13. Next, compare the distance from [hairline to top of eyebrows] to the distance from [top of eyebrow to base of nose]. How about [base of nose to bottom of chin]? In general those three measurements are about equal…but don’t generalize. Measure. Indicate the other side of the jaw.

  • 14. Start to softly indicate the hairline. Where does the neck intersect with the chin?

    15. Now you have enough information that you can estimate and draw in the rest of the hair. Also measure and softly indicate the pit of the neck.

  • 16. Now, find the darkest darks and start to indicate the shadow of the underside of

    the upper lip. For this