An Interview With An ArtRage Artist
Ramona MacDonald is a US-based portrait artist who uses pastels to create gorgeous, softly realistic portraits and landscapes.
ArtRage Editions: ArtRage 4.5
Platforms: Windows 10, iPad
Background: Traditional Art
Who are you? What do you want the internet to know about you?
Up until a couple of years ago, I would have answered this question by saying I was a commission artist and illustrator who has been selling my work since I was 12. I was someone who just wanted to make enough money to prevent the catastrophe of having to get a conventional job. But I did end up having to get a job, like most artists do, which had the result of freeing me up to start start exploring the art I’ve had locked up somewhere deep down and out of the way.
What country are you from?
I’m originally from South Africa – an Afrikaner girl. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 14.
What kind of artist are you? What kind of subjects do you draw?
I am primarily a portrait artist. Faces never cease to intrigue me.
Do you come from a digital or traditional art background?
Traditional – anything in a pencil shape.
Do you use other programs or traditional media?
I really don’t, no. Artrage has all the tools I need.
How long have you been using ArtRage?
About 2 years.
How did you come across the program?
Artrage came with my Wacom Intuos tablet. When I opened it and realized how refreshingly simple and comprehensive it was I was hooked within days.
What ArtRage works or projects are you most proud of?
So far, my proudest work is always my most recently completed work. I’ve been exploring a concept of pastel carvings colorless works in marble. I started working on “Caira” with the idea of creating another sculptured look, but started sweeping away edges with the palette knife towards the end. The results have me anticipating where my next pieces might take me…
How do you choose what to draw?
I choose subjects I feel I can relate to my audience: places I’ve been, people I know, emotions I feel.
How would you normally paint a picture? What is your process?
I start out with a simple line sketch, block out the colors in a layer under the line sketch, and start the detailing until I can’t see what I’m doing under the lines anymore. Then everything becomes one layer and the pigment gets piled on very carefully, and blended and pressed into the paper for more detail and a contrast against the rest of the texture.
What are your favourite ArtRage features?
The wonderful pastels. A pencil package I found in the ArtRage forums, and the flat palette knife when it’s set to zero load and full pressure.
Do you have any tips for other artists who might want to do the same thing as you?
Don’t expect the pastel to start doing crazy things until you’ve loaded the paper with pigment then the waxy blending and building and cracking at the paper texture starts happening. Using the palette knife at this point will give you “new” colors blending the colors you’ve already applied. It also bites into the buildup of pigment which I love to see happen.