I've been meaning for a while to do a series of pastels extreme close up images, not necessarily very small things but just a close look, the lichen on an old, weathered gate post, a rusty iron hinge, the feathers on a birds wing....that sort of thing. Some references will be photos that have been cropped to death, some will be still life, some macro photographs.
So I had a crack at one this evening, this is based on a photo of a rockhopper penguin, cropped until there's nothing except his eye and part of his beak and brow (I know I said I wouldn't do penguins but I've weakened).
For this I used mostly my conte (softish) pastels, just finished off the highlights & shadows with schminke pastels to get a bit more intensity. Support is 24 X 30 pastelmat in my favourite colour, anthracite. On the whole I don't blend much and in this painting I did none at all, also (and unusually for me) I didn't fix at all during the painting, bit of a departure for me this is.