La Fille d'Elise, pastel portrait

La Fille d'Elise, pastel portrait, 16x24 in.
Completed last month, and brought to the town of Sireix, in the French Pyrénées, for her parents.  This young woman died very young, soon after her baby son was born. Her parents were happy with the portrait.

Before you start a painting, in whatever medium you are using, watercolor, pastel, acrylic or oil, you must first consider the composition. Where will you place your subject? What will be your most important area in the painting? Cold or warm colors? How will you arrange the different shapes? There is a lot to consider before you pick up the brush or the piece of chalk, or the pencil. Usually, when you start painting, the painting is already done in your head.