January 17, 2019

Painting the "Little People"

The Steam Clock, oil on canvas, 18X24"
detail on left
detail on right
Painting people in the landscape (or urbanscape as is the case here) is great fun, but also pretty tough.  Here's why it's tough:  we think if we are putting in people in our pictures we need to put in detail.  It's not true - we can suggest a lot with gesture and a few strokes.

Here's why that just doesn't work:  When we see people in a setting, unless we are talking to them and they are directly in front of us, we don't really see details and fine features.  We see shapes, values, colors and edges.  If you try to put it all in, especially if the figures are small, not only is it difficult, but it usually makes for a fussed over looking painting that somehow just doesn't read well.

Knowing what NOT to put in is often the trick in painting, which is why I blew up some detail here so that you could see that I haven't painted detail - the detail is merely suggested.  More detail is needed as human subjects get larger within the painting, but even then, hold back.

As in life, so it is in art - less is often more.  I tell the folks that come to learn from me that you can leave an incredible amount out, as long as what you put in is RIGHT.  The right shapes, values, colors and edges.  I know I sound like a broken record here, but judge for yourself.  Give me some feedback if you have some comments around this.  I would love to learn your experience with inserting people into your paintings.

Let me take this opportunity to give you an update on what is on my teaching roster for those that might be interested.  I leave for sunny Santa Barbara this next Tuesday, and I look forward to sharing that adventure with you via some upcoming blog posts.  Stay tuned, and keep those brushes flying!



March 1,2,3
COLOR MIXING AND THEORY- hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists.  for info, click here

STUDIO WORKSHOP - March 28 - May 3 (six consecutive Thursdays, 10am till 2 pm) click here.  This is a studio workshop with demos, critiques and one on one coaching.

March 16 and 17 CREATE COMPELLING LIGHT Kube Gallery, Fort Langley.  email gayemadams@gmail.com for further info.

April 12-14 CREATE COMPELLING LIGHT held at Ellis Studios in Kelowna.  To find out more, click here

CROATIA September 28 - Oct 9,  2019 -  click here

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