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Old 02-06-2018, 01:37 PM
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monarch monarch is offline
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Need help painting tiny people

I'm painting this for my sister, as a memory from over 50 years ago. I followed an online demo from Joe Cartwright for the beach scene, and I'm open to any ideas to improve my version.

I want to add two little sisters in swimsuits in the painting. I really don't know how to create tiny people, much less two children in some active position. They could be running, or maybe one standing with a pail while the other is bent inspecting a shell, etc. They'd be small enough that I wouldn't need much detail, and if they're turned away, I won't have to worry about faces.

But I attempted to practice on a separate piece of paper, and it is beyond my ability! I really don't know how to make tiny living people, or even which colors to use. Can anyone help?




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Old 02-06-2018, 06:43 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1434186


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...php?p=21102684

here are a couple threads you may find useful

this is a small sketch of a beach from my sketchbook. i just used some dabs of color to suggest the figures. its nothing special but it shows that you don't have to make it super complicated

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Old 02-06-2018, 07:52 PM
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JMark501 JMark501 is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Frank Clarke shares his technique at around the 20:20 mark here -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnaC1Vfk_RY
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:54 AM
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Yorky Yorky is online now
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Check out this class on Putting People in your paintings.

Doug
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:48 PM
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rabbitone rabbitone is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Thanks for posting putting people in paintings Doug. This is a topic on my to-do-list I have to bump higher and get started on...
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:57 PM
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Oldey, thanks for your sketchbook piece showing people at the beach and the two links. That link is pretty amazing how the painting is done with very little color but is completely convincing. I also like the link to Liron's instructional. I tried a few although so far it looks much easier than it is. Just the tiniest bit of drawing off and the person looks odd.

Jim, that carrot idea is a great one. I am really liking that Frank Clarke! He's quite adorable. (I hope he doesn't mind me saying that, lol. ) I want to watch that whole video when I can because he seems like a fabulous teacher. So far, my attempts of carrot people have been the most successful, although I'm better at making them into adults walking than children running.

Doug, very cool mini class you did! Lots of good examples to follow and practice. I tried to copy a few and discovered that I'm always making the legs too thick and the arms look unnatural, too. I'll try your suggestion of alizarin crimson and burnt sienna for the skin color.

I'll practice a bit more and then I'll need to get brave and put my little girls into the painting, because I want to give this to my sister in the next couple of days. I'm crossing my fingers that it'll work!
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:01 AM
Johndk Johndk is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Have a look at Maurice Prendergast's work - he had a delightful way of "indicating" little people without getting too fussy.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:25 PM
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

I gave it my best effort, but there's really only one shot at getting the tiny people right on the painting. Some of the practice tiny people on scrap paper turned out a bit better (and some worse, lol) but here is what I ended up with.

Now that I see this painting basically finished, my courage fails me and I don't think I can give it. It smacks of rank amateur...which, of course, I am, but I don't want to give something that requires someone to pretend they like it and then hide it away in the dark recesses of their home, dreading having to display it only when I make a planned visit.

Is there anything I can do to make improvements at this stage of the game? I don't think I have time to start over on a new painting, but even if I tried, it might not turn out any better.

I'd really like suggestions of any kind!

It's 9 x 6 on Bee paper.



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Old 02-08-2018, 01:29 PM
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

That's fine, they indicate that there are people on the beach.

Doug
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:03 PM
Fergusburr Fergusburr is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

your sister will love it. When I first started, not that long ago, I did a picture of my niece and her niece (my sister's daughter and granddaughter) and my sister loved it. I look at it now and cringe a little and I have done others that were a bit better for her and she has loved them all. It's not just a painting you are giving her, its an acknowledgement that this memory is important to you and you want to share it with her.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:11 PM
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Doug, thanks, hopefully I got the people in the correct scale.

Fergus, thanks for your encouraging words. I decided to work a little more on it, but this time with pencils, since who knows what disasters I might cause with watercolor...back blooms, etc the possibilities are endless!

Hoping the changes were improvements...? Still looking to make other improvements, if I can only figure out how and where...


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Old 02-09-2018, 02:27 AM
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Ellen E Ellen E is offline
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

There's a guy who teaches watercolor on youtube and his name is Frank, but I don't remember his last name. He teaches things sort of like Bob Ross's way of teaching so it's easier for people to achieve what they're needing to portray. He says to paint carrots---says anybody can paint a carrot. Then he makes a shape like a carrot, and at the top, with another color, he paints a dot for the head. At the sides, you paint a line on each side for arms and at the bottom, you can make two marks to signify feet, and if you want the arms, legs and feet to show action, you just paint those appendages in appropriate positions. I tried it and I was amazed. It's so much fun that I ended up playing around with "carrots" and filling a whole sketchbook page with them. It even helps if you use the carrots in larger sizes. And although he started out with the figures seeming to face away from the action where you only see their hair and not their faces, I took it further and did little faces and had them facing straight on and doing little gestures, etc. You can add some clothing, too. It's very easy. I strongly advise you to try it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:33 PM
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Re: Need help painting tiny people

Thanks, Ellen! I think it'll take a while of practicing carrot people before I master it, lol.

It's probably a good thing that I needed to pack up the painting and send it to my sister due to the time constraints. Otherwise, I would have kept on working on it endlessly or lost courage to send it! I hope she likes it for the memory involved and doesn't judge it strictly for it's artistic qualities, lol.
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