Pastel Portraiture

by Lavanna Martin

Molly Pastel is the classical medium for Children’s Portraiture. Many artists, especially early Impressionists, preferred the use of pastel when painting children. No other medium can reproduce the glowing transparency of a child’s skin.

The Materials

I use archival quality materials for both the pastels and paper when I do your commissioned portrait. Did you know that pastels are made from the same pigments that are found in oil paint?  They can even outlast oils if cared for properly, since they are more stable and do not fade, crack or migrate. The image will be approximately 12 inches by 16 inches.

The Technique

I work in a “Direct” style. That means that I use the pastel to paint and not to draw. This lends to a fresher, more immediate look to the work. When done correctly, a “Direct” style will establish depth in a way that a photograph or drawing simply cannot convey.


The Vignette Pose

My portraits use the “head and collar” pose which can be head-on, 3/4, or profile. This cameo style is intended for a single subject only. At this summer price, I am working from photographs, since folks are busy, and children are squirmy (love that energy!).


When you contact me I will work with you to make an appointment for the photo session with your child (children). I have a photographer that will coordinate and conduct the actual photo shoot, and you will have final approval regarding which photo will be used for the portrait vignette. The price of the photography is included in the $275 per portrait price (pre-tax). Also, the material fee is included in the $275 price per portrait.


Pricing from $400 $275

This summer, I am offering vignette portraits at the discounted price of $275 before tax.  Payment is accepted by check.  You can pick up your portraits at my studio in Austin, TX.


I have a standing “Risk-Free” policy: if you do not like the final portrait, you do not have to buy it. I will also provide two small changes without charge.

Get Started

If you are interested in doing a commissioned portrait with me, now is the time. I have reduced the price considerably for the summer months. The prices will go up to the normal rate of $400 in the fall. Please use this form to contact me. I will reply by email.


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