German artist Lars Degenhardt shows step-by-step how he works with Schmincke Soft Pastels to create this vivid manga comic character.
Colourful Manga Portrait with Soft Pastels
by Lars Degenhardt (Laovaan)
This is the list of what he used to paint this manga figure:
• Schmincke Soft Pastels: White, Olive Ochre Light, Greenish Blue, Reddish Violet, Deep Purple, Ultramarine Blue Deep, Bordeaux, Purple, Deep Violet, Vermillion, Rose Madder, Carmine Red, Black, Cold Grey.
• Pastel paper A4
• Coloured pencil in black
• Graphite pencil
• Fixative for pastels
• Masking tape
• Disposable gloves
• Cotton bud
• Kitchen roll
Click each image for a larger view.
“I use masking tape to tape down the paper. Once it is set up I take the colours Reddish violet, Purple 1 and Olive Ochre Light to be the colours for the background. I apply them with gentle movements so the pigment just lies on the surface. Then I start blending. I like to use a glove to protect the paper from grease and to keep my fingers clean. Also you need a tissue to rub the dust of the gloves so they won’t mix accidentally. I add White to make the background pop up a bit more and give it a mystic glow.”
“Now it´s time to work on the face. I use Purple 1 for the first layer. Again, I do it gently to make sure the colour is spread evenly. After that I start blending it to a flat colour. On top of this layer I apply highlights with White and blend them into the base. Thus it becomes more 3 dimensional. As soon as I am satisfied with the result I add a shadow tone. I use Carmine
red, Vermillion and Rose madder for that and carefully smudge it. You could compare the process to applying make-up.
For details and small areas I like to use cotton bud to press the pigments gently into the paper. I add another layer of shadows, this time using Bordeaux to make the image more vivid and get rid of the plastic look. For the white of the eyes I use White and Cold grey. To apply fine lines for the lashes I recommend to use a paper wiper and dip it into the pigment of the Prussian blue pastel. Colour pencils also will help a lot to intensify the look of sharp edges.”
“For the eyebrows I use Deep purple, I apply precise strokes and blend them with a cotton bud. The same procedure I use for painting the face. I use the colour of the eyebrows to contour the hair and fill the area with Reddish violet and Greenish blue as an eye-catcher. To make the character pop up, I add flat white lines on the edges of the hair.”
“For the clothes and accessories I use a combination of Greenish blue, Ultramarine blue deep and Black so it will work as a contrast for the pink sky and skin. A white line will define where the jacket will be placed. I use Vermillion to trace the contours and I give the hair more detail with Purple 1. I do that by repeating smudging and applying flat lines until I am satisfied. For the jacket I use White and apply it with a crosshatching method. After blending I use Black to define the fabric. For the pendant I use Cool gray, Black and White to achieve a metal look. For the last little details I use a black coloured pencil and put a layer of fixative for pastels over the pastel painting for protection. Before I use the can I shake it well. I spray from the left side to the right and from top to bottom while holding the can at a distance of about 40 cm from the vertically positioned or slightly inclined painting.“
The finished pastel painted portrait
About the artist:
Lars Degenhardt – better known as Laovaan, is a German art student who works with traditional and digital media. His favourite medium is watercolour but he also likes ink, pencils, pastels, markers and Photoshop.
On his YouTube channel his great time-lapse videos show the process of his figure paintings, which vary from realism to manga/comic style.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offers on the range of Schmincke Soft Pastels on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.