Friday, June 10, 2016

Beginning and Intermediate Homework 6/9/16 Working From Your Figure Sketches

After 2 1/2 hours of intense concentration, we all ended up with a fair-sized pile of studies, some much better than others, no doubt. All of them can be very useful, though, so I hope You haven't recycled the rejects yet.
Hopefully, the examples below will offer some inspiration to repaint a few of the sketches in a more efficient way. Some are simpler than others, but the importance of the shadow shape is obvious in most of these. Try to keep it simple, and have fun.

Linda Lovell

Linda Lovell

Jaqui Morgan

Ewa Ludvicsak

Tracy - Ann Marrison

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Intermediate Homework 6/2/16 Figure Practice

Intermediate watercolor homework: Figures, Letting go!

Here are a few images that might inspire you to make more general statements in the figurative work we'll be doing next week.
Nathan Oliveira

Kim Froshin

David Park

Richard Diebenkorn

These paintings are based more on shapes than lines. Even in the Diebenkorn if you took away the lines, the figure would still be fully present, much as it is in Kim Froshin's exciting painting. An edge, rather than a line can make a more convincing object in space. 
Take another look at these three images with the relationship between the figure and the ground in mind. There's a big opportunity here for defining shapes, and it can come late in the sequence of layers. Be sure to take advantage of that from time to time.
So, your homework? If you can get someone in your house to hold still, great. Otherwise, look for photos online, or in magazines that feature distinct shadows on a figure, clothed or not. Keep the drawing to a minimum. Paint shapes!

Please bring lots of paper for our next session. Most of it can be cheap sketch paper (not newsprint).  Just a  couple of sheets of good watercolor paper for the longer poses.

Beginning Homework 6/2/16 Figure Practice

Here are a couple of images that can get you started seeing the figure as a sequence of layers.

Try painting the whole figure as a single color silhouette. See if you can get used to starting from the inside of the form and working toward the outside edge, instead of drawing the profile and then coloring it in. I know nobody's watching, so you could just draw an out line and fill it in, but really, try it the other way, at least a couple of times. Use your brush to make shapes rather than lines.
Make some of your silhouettes in a very pale wash. Remember the tendency we saw in the portraits to make the first layer too dark. Better to make it too light. Well, best to make it just right, but too light leaves plenty of room for the shadows to contrast sufficiently.
Next, paint the shadow shapes as a layer by itself. The idea is to get used to seeing it as a separate layer that you can hold in suspension while you focus on the lights.
Finally, put the two layers together, adding a few accent darks where they are needed (creases, hair, eyes,. etc.)
Remember, it is not necessary to have a flawless figure present right from the start. When you are applying the first layer, you still have 2 or 3 opportunities to clarify the edges and proportions. Putting in a background can be a powerful tool in this regard.

Please bring lots of paper to this next session. Cheap sketch paper will be fine, not too small, though. And a couple of sheets of good watercolor paper for the longer poses.