I like how the pastel is making its way out into the paper.

How the form of the head integrates into the background determines the style of the pastel. I view the format as a whole composition. The idea is to push the stylistic convention of the self-portrait.


At this point you went in and wiped down the whole work?

I usually remove layers of pastel by hitting the surface with a chamois cloth. This is done usually in desperation when I've reach a point of complete dissatisfaction with the progress of the work. Sometimes it happens at an earlier stage when the drawing proportions are incorrect or the drawing is too academic and too ordinary, lacking verve or form. With this work, there was considerable pastel on the surface. Some areas would not accept another layer of pastel unless I switched to a softer brand. I used only Mt. Vision pastel for this work. I had reach a point of disgust and knew the only way to move forward was to remove and disturb the existing drawing. Then I would be free to rebuild the form and color.