In The Studio: A Figure Study “Painting Outside Of Joshua Tree”

DSC_0015The goal in this demonstration is to use a fairly simple composition just one solitary figure but really work the edges and colors to make the figure become part of the dominant shape with the mountains.  I try not to think of the separate pieces of clothing and body but rather I think of merging colors and values to make everything work together.  I am thinking light from the upper left and cast shadow on the ground.  Keep the background light filled, slightly brighter and lighter values, set up the first wash as a light warm tone and then put a second wash on top to give the details of the hills and scrub trees.

DSC_0002Give the drawing some character, think edges of the shirt, pants, arms and hat, and stay away from too many focused details.  This only means lay off pockets, belts, earrings, and minutia which will make your figure stand out too much.

DSC_0006After getting comfortable with the drawing and the placement of the figure, begin to broadly wash in the background shapes cutting around the figure.  Take your time cutting around the figure, the edge is important and needs to be right at the drawing.  Don’t stop immediately jump in a paint the figure even if some of the colors run together, you can clean them up later.  Use the side of your brush to get exciting edges.  Cerulean and cobalt violet for the sky and cobalt blue, violet and burnt sienna for the hill, merging directly into the field with raw sienna and hints of olive green.

DSC_0009Don’t be afraid to have some edges blur and run together because these blossomed edges will make your painting feel more unified.  Every place you can bridge color do it like the right shoulder blending into the hill, right forearm blending into the field, feet blending into the shadow.  Oh simple trick leave out the shoes just think shadow and it will look better.

DSC_0012Go back over the shapes both land and figure with darker accents creating the feeling of light and form.  The little highlights are really important but try to make them varied in shape and size.

DSC_0015I think this turns out fairly well it says light and the figure looks like it is looking to the left.  Try to take a figure and just integrate it into the surrounding with merged colors and a cast shadow, keep the drawing simple and loose.  With enough confidence acquired from practice, you will be painting terrific paintings based on the ultimate subject matter the figure.

Tomorrow come back a see the next demonstration of putting figures in the painting.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  • ChristineOctober 15, 2013 - 3:35 am

    ahhhh; the lone cowboy in the desert finds his way home?ReplyCancel

  • MercedesOctober 15, 2013 - 6:14 am

    Wonderful interpretation of the figure in the landscape, even telling a story. I like very much. Thank you SteeveReplyCancel