Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adding people (at a safe distance) to a painting

(click on image to enlarge)

Painting at Willows Beach
©2012 Charlene Brown

Whenever I’m painting with a group, I’m fascinated by the painters who can incorporate the people around them, including the Roving Art Critics, into their pictures. Katherine Tyrrell does this a lot and does it very well, so I decided to have another look at her article about sketching people … and was particularly encouraged by a couple of things she said not to do:
  • “Don’t draw faces. If people can't be identified they can neither object nor can they be upset if your drawing of them isn't flattering.”  Katherine simply concentrates on getting the bodies and posture looking right… to which I would add clothing – it’s pretty easy to get that looking approximately right.
  • “Don’t assume they'll be annoyed. I've had people (approach me) more than once to see how the drawing of them turned out.” That’s easy for her to say, you might be thinking, because her drawings always turn out beautifully…
But she’s right! Even other artists, who could probably do it better, got a kick out of recognizing their hat or something in my picture. Admittedly, I only began this drawing while on location at Willows Beach – actually completing a painting with people in it will be the next big step in the Drama of Painting Plein Air.