I have updated the images in the Let’s Paint library. If its looking boring thats because I haven’t had too many new paintings this week. Obviously the sun has been to enticing.
Thought I would give some hints and tips on putting people into our paintings this week. A subject that comes up every so often, but if you are anything like me, you learn the rules and forget them because we don’t use them every day.
The addition of figures gives a sense of scale and helps to tell the tale. They can break up a blank area or add some life and colour to an otherwise very plain boring scene.
In a painting, the proportion of shapes one to another is important. When drawing you concentrate on line, in painting we look at shapes. If you relate your figures to other shapes or objects within your painting, things will make sense. For instance the size of a person next to a lamp post, can that man you have just drawn fit into the door of the building he is standing by?
We all worry about drawing people – here is a technique to make it easier.
Draw a box around your figure on your reference photo. Then draw a box on your painting (hopefully your preliminary drawing) the size you want the figure. Compare the position of the key parts of your person to the lines of the box. Where does the head fit, the arms, the feet, a bag if the person is carrying a bag.
Here’s the rule – When viewed at eye level’ the heads of the people in a crowd or a street are more or less on a level. As the figure moves away from you it gets smaller in every way, BUT the heads stay at the same height. So you need to adjust the level of the feet NOT the heads.
When drawing your people, make sure you ground them in some way. The shadow can help to show that a person is walking by mimicking the length of the legs. If the figure is walking and has one foot off the ground, the figure will only have a shadow attached to the foot on the ground. The raised foot, has a gap of light between the foot and the shadow.
I couldn’t leave without setting an exercise based on my hints and tips.
While you are watching tv, take a photo of a crowd scene, push pause or use a photo: have a go at drawing and or painting very quick shapes that represent figures, using the rules above.
Do remember though that for the heads to be level, you have to see the people from your eye level. If you are looking up at them or down from above, this rule will not apply.
Have a good week, happy gardening and painting.
This will end.