Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Market Day - and handy hints.

























Market Day

6x6in oil on canvas panel  $100. SOLD

A family enjoying our award winning Farmers and Craft
Market here in sunny Las Cruces, NM


Artist Note.
This is another re-post.
This one is from three years ago.
I am recovering from a bug but thought i could pick
up some old posts with good information in them.


The monthly focus is the Figure in Landscape at the
Artist Guild this month. We are a mixed group so
to help the ones without much access to live models
I find it easy to use the tried and true "Stick Figure "
method.
It is easy to find figures in magazines or newspapers to

use a magic marker and do the following
exercise. You can use photos you care
about by placing a piece of glass over
them and draw on it. ( I use a photo
frame piece of glass and tape the edges)
When you do a couple a day you get
used to the basic proportions of the
body - the spine, where the elbows
and knees have a joint,
and the important line of action.
(The movement angle)


I have an exercise where I draw
the stick figure in different positions and
then show how easy it is to use a simple stroke of 
the brush to make the clothes.    


First the drawings.
I spray fixative
over the charcoal
so it can be used
many times and
washed off
afterwards.


Add the paint
using single
strokes for arms
and pants. I paint
a stroke to a joint,
say elbow, stop,
and then start again
I press harder so
the brush gets wider
for the torso


Add all the clothes,
shadows,
and background
and you have a decent
painted figure to go
into a landscape




The artists all
take turns to
paint over the
figures on this
same canvas.
They choose the
the clothes and
background.


This is not about perfection, but it is about finding
a way to grow an understanding of the basics of placing
a figure in the painting.

The top painting was a demo starting with stick figures.

Sorry about not being able to remove the old comments.

62 comments:

  1. Wow! this is an amazing technique, Julie. Using stick figures then dressing them up to be put into a painting sounds like a wonderful idea...I hope to see the image of what you did another time.

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    1. Hope you get back to see this Hilda. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Gorgeous painting, Julie!! Glad you posted it!!!

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  2. julie, i may have to set up a shrine to you. ; )

    xoxo

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  3. What a cool and accessible exercise with the stick figures. Didn't realize you were from England until I watched the tools video. My lovely mother in law was from Leister, where they just found Richard the 3rd!Thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog!

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    1. I bet your mother-in-law has some great jokes about finding Richard. Thanks Anne.

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  4. Great information Julie. And the computer learning curve must be very, very long indeed. Just when we relax we get thrown for a loop.

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    1. I had the computer expert out today. Had to get a different one because the regular one won enough on the lottery to take off to Hawaii for 10 days.
      This guy HATES Windows 8 I mean, really, really hates it. So at least I found out it wasn't my fault.He worked his magic and got it in line and I hope it lasts.

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    2. Thank you to you and Rita both. Big time goal.......get out of the box. I look at my paintings and think..........now what if I did this, or that, or whatever. One never know what one can discover!

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  5. It 's always interesting to learn from you!
    You have a great sense of pictorial practice and you know how to teach,dear Julie!
    Today I watched the second artbyte and try to figure out how to adapt the concepts for watercolor. I bought a piece of neoprene to make something that drags the color without absorbing it.

    Your family to the market, brings joy ... is the festive atmosphere of a market day! Lights and Colors
    delightful . I will try to practice with the figures!

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    1. I have used the handy dandy tool with watercolor. I painted on glass a lightish color using some gum of Arabic medium and made the marks with the tool then I laid the paper over the marks and ran my hands over the back of the paper.
      The same idea as a mono print but not as thick and heavy. After it dried I did some washes and dry brush work. Then I repeated using the glass again. I had left the first marks on there so I played around on or between some of it. It turned out REALLY NEAT! and sold right away to another artist. Experiment, dear Rita, you may come up with something you like. I admire you for being willing to go outside the safety of the tradititional, watercolor box.

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  6. Replies
    1. So is your Matisse lady with green hair and Sunflower. Two different blogs...I do not know how you do it.

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  7. Julie - what a great tip - I have to give this a try - love the idea of making a stick figure and marking it to get the feel. Thank you so much for sharing. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Hi Debbie thanks hope you try it and it helps. Love your pieces with the ink background. .

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  8. This is a wonderful lesson and it's good to be reminded of it. I like the energy of the color and movement in the farmer's market too. Now, I can't wait to get over to your ArtByte!

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  9. Wow, I will view my photo's from the Farmers Market in a new light. Seems like the only thing I say here is "Thank You Julie" must find a few new words, smiles.

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  10. Love your marketplace painting...very nice! ....and what a great tutorial on adding figures into a painting. I will try that glass thing--that sounds fun!

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    1. Thanks Celeste and I really love all of the soft, atmospheric landscape you are doing.

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  11. I LOVE the vibrant colors in today's painting, it's so FUN!

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    1. Welcome to a fellow 30 in 30 blogger. Love the canoe painting.

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  12. Beautiful market scene (and makes me miss visiting Pike's Market in Seattle) and I loved your little demo. Great idea and one I intend to use!

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    1. I am missing Seattle, too!

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    2. So I gather both of you know Seattle. What fun to hear about Pikes Market.
      Thanks for the visit, ladies.

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  13. Julie,

    You have the most wonderful teaching tools. This is one of the best hints I have heard. Cannot wait to try it. Love the painting, it reads as a much larger piece because of all those great figures.

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    1. Thanks Carol, and I enjoyed seeing your two pear paintings.

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  14. I love this stick figure demo. It's magical how they come to life and shows how good drawing starts with basic simple shapes. Your vedio was fantastic on Daily Paintworks. It was great to finally meet you in person and see how experimental you are while you work. Very inspiring and well done!

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    1. I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed the video, Bruce. Thanks for the great review. I was very touched because the good reviews will help a lot.
      Your cafe scene is lovely.

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  15. Julie, Thank you for the compliments on my paintings. I really needed the encouragement. I plan to try out the fractured technique this weekend. SO COOL! Spiffy idea with the glass! I am a trained drafter so i tend to go all perspective with tools, but this sounds fun! My hubby thinks it is funny when I deliberatly paint things a little wonky.

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    1. Well Lavon, it was great to finally see your work and I can tell you had training in drawing right away. You are off on a fun journey.

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  16. Such valuable info. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing your video. Can't wait.

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    1. Thank you Angela. if you do see it I hope you enjoy it.
      I am full of admiration for your ability to capture the dogs eyes. They seem so alive.

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  17. I love your painting, Julie - so full of life and color! I also enjoyed your tutorial on drawing the figure. This is something I want to start doing more, and your insights were very helpful!

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    1. Glad to hear it. I want to do more of the figure but not sure HOW I want to paint them.
      Your waterlily painting is perfect. I did leave a comment but not sure it went through.

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  18. Hello Julie:) So kind of you to share this exercise with us! Thank you very much:) It's a simple exercise you can do while eating dinner:) Your painting is so beautiful. Lovely bright colors. The box with tomatoes in the front is great. Have a nice weekend:)

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    1. Hi There - love Spike. I am still smiling from seeing him.
      Glad to hear you like the sound of the exercise and the painting. thanks.

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  19. Brilliant tips with figures Julie...can't wait to try it out! There is so much in this painting, I love it!

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  20. Hi Karen - this should be a natural for you because you do wonderful drawings all the time. Love the little shag w/c sketch

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  21. Very lovely and fun painting, Julie. And the stick figure demo is very informative!

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    1. Nice of someone with your amazing ability to paint the figure to write such a positive comment. I find your figures to be very accurate with an lovely, emotional quality to them

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  22. Wow...what a great idea. I just watched a Youtube video of a watercolor artist drawing stick like figures with watercolor and it amazed me how an arm or leg pointing this way or that gave such action to the figure. Your market painting is lovely...I love paintings with scenes.

    I posted about your video today on my blog...big thanks again compete with bear hug.

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    1. Hi Lisa - well I tore over to your blog and want to thank you for the great plug. You are very generous.
      Your painting is amazing. It is still very much Lisa but not quite as "tidy" as usual. Anything you do always keeps me entertained, but in this one I noticed how well the figure is involved with the surroundings...with an active surface, and liked it very much. You cannot go wrong because your lovely sketch you took it from is a gem too.

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  23. I just wanted to say thankyou Julie for the kind comments that you left on my blog. I appreciate them. Our paintings of the family of three...what a coincidence! Though I prefer your climate over there in NM!! Looking forward to following you too!

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  24. This is a great idea. Thank you for passing it on.

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  25. I'm amazed your works. How to paint human figures are really useful.
    Thank you sharing.

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  26. Great advice indeed and a beautiful market day painting where the sun is flooding the canvas .

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    1. yes, it does - our sun is extra bright because we have no moisture in the air.
      Good to hear from you jane. I wonder if your next post will be flowers and a figure? Always a pleasure visiting you.

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  27. Very smart! I just tried the stick figure move and placed it side by side with what I normally do. Nice to have an additional way to do something-thank you!

    Lovely painting too. I hope you are on the mend:)
    Libby

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    1. Hi Libby - I found the stick figure over photos invaluable for understanding the spine and how it flows with the opposing angles of shoulders and hips.
      Thanks for the kind thoughts, Libby. i am back at work but dragging!

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  28. Wow three years! Time does fly. More importantly, thank you for the fantastic tip on painting figures, something I usually stay away from. I am determined to try your idea! I have often envied your ability to paint those wonderful figures. Fantastic post!

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    1. Hi Carol - i hope you try it. You are such a good artist it should fall into place really quickly.
      I was looking at your wave painting with wonder. The water seems real and moving. Did you use a knife to get the texture of the foam?

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  29. A wonderful tip Julie! I will surely try it. I do love all of you paintings new and old. The colors and composition here are beautiful and cheers me up! I hope you get well!!

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    1. Thanks Celia. you comment cheers me up! I am back at work but a bit wobbly!
      I think your painting of the grasses and water is truly light filled. The colors are rich and beautiful. What a happy day you and your hubby had.

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  30. This post couldn't be more timely, Julie! I've been wanting to do figures in a scene, and this method sounds like a good way to begin. A very colorful "market day" with the focus on those three characters in the middle. The awnings add color and interest to the corners without being too attention-grabbing.

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    1. A great comment and one that is appreciated. You "see" the whole of a painting, Carol. Happy you like the idea of a stick foundation.
      Still lovin those poms you did.

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  31. OMG, this is genius! Thank you so much. I have been so afraid of trying figures, but now I have somewhere to start.

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  32. it just takes the discipline of doing a couple a day and bingo...before you know it...being able to make the figure look right comes naturally.
    Love your isis painting. I think the gray background made a lovely harmony for the iris.

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  33. It's amazing ....a very good exercise Julie that I did with pastels....I remember this beautiful painting from years back....

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  34. What a great post! This is a super little exercise- so well explained! (and I'm going to give it a whirl! I really enjoyed that series of market paintings you did!! Hope you are feeling better, and pronto!!!

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  35. What a great way to learn body proportions!!! I downloaded your instructions. Love the market painting...it has such life!

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  36. Julie, Thank you for this inspiration and instruction!

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I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at juliefordoliver@gmail.com
Cheers,
Julie