Beautiful Soft Sanguine Pastel

As used by Leonardo, Raphael and many artists before

and since Sanguine is the perfect portrait drawing medium


Alison (2 colour sanguine)

On Ingres Fabriano paper 18 x 23″


Debs (my daughter) older and younger.  Sanguine on Canson Mi Tiente paper Cream  19 x 25″

Thorie aged 3

Thorviolet aged 3.  One colour sanguine on Canson Mi Tiente Cream  19 x 25″

Sanguine or ‘Trois Crayon’ as it is traditionally called, is one of my favourite mediums.   It is also pastel of course.   For many years in the UK I presented a Portraiture Summer School in Cumbria and in Lancashire in beautiful Higham Hall and Alston Hall – two of the most wonderful country houses used for Adult Residential Colleges.

These Summer schools were attended by students from all over Britain, but also from the USA, South Africa, Barbados, and many parts of Europe.     When I wrote an article for the British art press (Artists Publishing Group) on the subject, it was one of their most popular articles and I received redirected mail from their offices for some time.

The beauty of this medium is simply – it is the best medium to learn the principles of portraiture.  It is softer than graphite,  and charcoal, and the effects you achieve are inspirational.     There is a touch of magic in Sanguine.   The great masters knew that.    Having used it and taught it for so many years – watch out for my Sanguine online portraiture course.  Fill in the form below for updates if you are interested in this beautiful pastel medium.


Young William

Prince William

Single colour Sanguine on Canson Mi Tiente Champagne paper  19 x 25″.

Photo courtesy of Tim Graham.

Maria Bashkurtseff

Maria Bashkurtseff – Russian artist and polymath

3 colour sanguine on Canson Mi Tiente Cream 19 x 27″



On Ingres Pastel Paper   18 x 23″   One colour sanguine



2 colour sanguine on Ingres Pastel Paper   19 x 23″



3 colour sanguine on Ingres Pastel Paper 18 x 23″

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