50 Shades of Grey…in Portraits

Some of you may remember one of my Shades of Grey workshops. They were conducted way before the books and movie of that title came out and I very much prefer my take on it;-)




Shades of Grey Sample pcarriker (2)

Here’s a little workshop video I did for Strathmore Artist Papers a few years ago.I return to this simple palette again and again, it’s my favorite and exploring the tonal values in this way is such a good exercise for creating faces.

There are several projects in my new book, Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker, that deal with exploring tonal values in the face and while the projects are meant to be fun, there’s also a lot to learn each time you explore the lights and darks of the face, or any object. A simple sketch is one way, but when you start to add in various media such as Conte Crayon, charcoal, acrylics, oil pastels and more you get an even more intense experience as you blend and create shades of grey.

I went back through my artwork and journals to pull 50 Shades of Grey in faces spanning the last several years. It’s always fun to take a look back and see how your artwork had evolved and what things still draw you that you continue to explore. I encourage you to take a look back at your work and reflect on what things still appeal to you as you go forward~

14 responses

  1. Hi Pam, I loved your class “shades of grey” it was the very first art journal class I took and I learned so much! I wish I could watch it all again!!! Since then I have taken some more classes and done a lot of art journaling.. I love it so much I started a digital magazine dedicated to art journaling called heART Journal Magazine. I got on to your blog today to try and find an email address so I could invite you to be in the magazine but couldn’t find one. I would love to discuss doing an article on you for the magazine. Please email me if this might be a possibility. Here are some links to the mag. Sorry I’m only putting this in the comments section because I couldn’t figure out how to email you. Please delete the comment after you have read if you want. Thanks Carla

    heART Journal Magazine http://heartjournalmagazine.com/
    Available on iTunes http://bit.ly/artjournaled or Google Play http://bit.ly/Heartjournal

  2. These are fantastic!! I’d love to see them all larger and have time to study them more closely.

    Im currently working my way through’Art at the Speed of Life’ and enjoying it. It is a stretch for me but i am learning a lot. I hope to someday be in a workshop of yours….

  3. I love your books, I find something new inside every time I flip through the pages. I had fun going through the portraits you have shared with us. I tried to go slowly and not see the date each was completed, and what is interesting, I was able to select your most recent work correctly each and every time. It has even more depth (if that is possible) and an ethereal beauty that is undeniable. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work with us.

  4. So much fun seeing all of these together. Your style is so you, very consistent and kind of ethereal. Love them. Some changes over the years which are so subtle. Makes me realize that series and practice are strong ways to grow.

  5. Your new book is so amazing, I am loving it so much! Thanks for sharing your portraits from the past few years, I like to look back in my old sketch books and see what I still like!

    You are so generous with sharing your talents with all of us. So appreciated.

  6. What fun! And, yes! I do remember the course but would be hard pressed to come up with 50 shades… well, maybe if they weren’t all portraits…

  7. Pam …Thank you so much for sharing this retrospective. Such a treat! In viewing your portraits over the years, I was struck by the dark, dramatic shades in your latest work. Beautiful.

  8. I’m learning so much in your book. And there is absolutely nothing in that other 50 shades book I would like to learn. (At least I don’t think I do).


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