Using the pencil helped enormously – I could actually see my guidelines, and what’s more the eraser worked on them too where necessary. Great stuff.
To my surprise this portrait worked out quite well. The pastels gave a good skin tone, and technically I was learning to handle them much more adeptly, and to combine the very soft pastels with the harder Contes where finer detail was needed. Although the expression on the face is rather worried and intense, it did turn out to have a bit of me in it. I felt that with the new board and pastels, and a huge amount of focus, I’d made a great leap forward. What a relief.