Pastel: CRITIQUE: "Kate Menendez"

It is important to consider the background color in a portrait.

by Dawn Whitelaw

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Kate Menendez
2006, pastel, 21 x 19.
The critic created  an adjusted
version of the painting
in Photoshop to supplement
her critique.

This artist asked for help with the background in this pastel portrait. The value of the background works very well. However, the color of the background is brighter than background colors traditionally used in portraits. The artist may want to consider adding more blue tones to the shadow of the head because the colors of the skin and the background color compete. Making these changes to the shadow will unify the painting.

About the Critic
Dawn Whitelaw studies painting with Scott Christensen, Cedric Egeli, Jim Pollard, and Everett Raymond Kinstler. In 2002, she received the Award of Excellence and the Best of Show award in an international art competition sponsored by the Portrait Society of America, and she has exhibited her portrait, landscape, and still-life paintings in juried shows  organized by the Cumberland Society of Painters, the American Academy of Women Artists, and the Phoenix Historical Museum.

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