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More street scenes and some figure sketches

December 1, 2009

The street scenes continue.  Joseph Zbukvik suggests that conveying the flavor of a scene is more important than the specific location.  I’ve never visited these places, but they appeal to my artistic senses, so I’m working from photos provided by others.  I am not a regional artist.  What interests me most is trying to establish the feel of a scene while drawing and painting without regard for where it is in the world.  If it looks familiar, that’s wonderful, but I do take considerable artistic license when deciding what to include and what to leave out.  As with my landscape paintings, my wish is for the viewer to want to be in that place, and, as a counterpoint to the quiet serenity of the countryside paintings, to feel the hustle and bustle of the  people in the street.

From a technical standpoint, I’m still working on the right paint consistency in these.  That, and the right brushes, will help me get some sharper edges in places.  After nearly three years of trying to get ever softer edges in my landscapes, I now find that a few more hard edges should add greatly to the readability and excitement in these little street scenes.  Allowing the pencil work to show through here and there under fairly transparent brush strokes, adds to that as well.  If I were trying to achieve a more impressionistic effect ala Monet, this wouldn’t be a problem.  But to achieve the look I want in these, I need a few more hard edges.  The exploration continues.

I should note that these are 5×7″ on cold press Crescent board

I’ve also been spending some time sketching figures.  This is not “life drawing” stuff.  Posed models don’t seem to work for this.  I’m not trying to achieve a detailed drawing here, but rather just be able to convey movement, size and shape variety, reasonably accurate proportions and body attitude.  For this purpose, I work from photos of people actually walking in the street.  These are sketches, rough, not intended to be works of art, but practice for improving the figures in my little street scenes.  Most figures in a crowd can be mere suggestive paint strokes, but there need to be two or three, at least, that reasonably portray a human figure.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    December 3, 2009 5:55 pm

    Great paintings. I’m really impressed you can get such a rich painting from Gouache. I often work overseas at this point in my life and I’ve been searching for an alternative to harder to transport oils. Watercolor can be great but the ability to really show some brushwork seems to be maintained in your Gouaches!
    I don’t mean to bother you with a technical question but could you say if you like a particular brand of Gouache paint and what do you think about using bristle brushes vs. watercolor brushes?
    Again, keep up the beautiful work and I’ll be back to check out your latest!

    • December 3, 2009 7:59 pm

      Thanks Dan. Of course, transport would be the same as watercolors, I assume. But gouache is going to come in tubes. I prefer DaVinci gouache. It gives me the color intensity and consistency I like, and I can buy larger tubes online than any other brand. I use primarily bristle brushes for my landscape paintings (flats and filberts) with a couple of liners for the small stuff. In these street scenes, I’m still experimenting with surfaces, brushes, and paint consistency. I’m using both watercolor brushes and bristles for these, trying to get the look I want. Be aware that gouache on a textured surface will really wear the bristles down. I’ve done about 20 of these so far, and while some have come out nice, they are still a work in progress. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Dan permalink
    December 4, 2009 1:20 am

    Thanks for your quick response and sharing the information. Nice to know you are getting such good results from the DaVinci. I’ve gotten really accustom to the feel of bristle brushes over the years so that’s another nice cross over to trying Gouache.

    Again, keep up the great work – looking forward to seeing more!

  3. priyanka permalink
    December 20, 2009 9:25 am

    thanks your sketches will really help me for my exam…

  4. priyanka permalink
    December 20, 2009 9:33 am

    and can u just tell me what is Gouache

  5. aswin permalink
    August 12, 2011 10:30 am

    awesome sketches……..they do have unique life …and can help young sketchers like us a lot.!thanx.

  6. Tarun Kumar permalink
    July 15, 2012 2:36 am

    Good Art work

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