Pastel Portraits

Realistic portraits have always been my goal and colored pencils provided the means to accomplish them. I developed a method and even wrote a book on the subject. Now, here is the rub. Colored pencil portraits take from 70 to 90 hours to complete and that is more time than I want to spend or have the patience for. Below is the finished result of one that took over 90 hours.

In an effort to save time I decided to look at using pastels instead. I needed to find a surface that would take the pastels and one that would still result in a realistic portrait. After attempts with several papers including homemade sanded paper I think I came up with the right surface. I went to a fabric store and bought a linen remnant and then glued it to a board. After one coat of white gesso (paint) I was ready to proceed. I used brushes to work the pastel colors into the fabric and the results are what you see below. This “painting” took only 20 hours to accomplish. Now I need a subject for my next one. Any ideas?