Part 2 - Closer figures mean More Detail
As figures get closer you may have to show a little more detail. The most important thing to watch are the proportions and balance in the pose of the figure. The hips are at the half point and the shoulders the quarter point and the supporting foot of a static figure must be below the centre of gravity.
Generally you don't have to put in much detail or facial features. The foundations of all figures is the skeleton and I recommend a wonderful book "People painting Scrapbook ISBN 0-89134-252-4
" by J Everett Draper who uses skeletons to show how to ensure that despite the pose the figure is balanced:
Examples of rough skeletons I did from the book:
The book goes on to show more detailed sketches, here are some I did from the book, there are many more examples:
When adding figures in a beach or street scene, if the street is level all the heads should line up with the horizon and the position of the feet indicates how far away they are. If the street slopes or your viewpoint is above or below the figures then the heads follow the perspective rules.
Here are a couple more street photos from my trip to Italy 2 years ago which may give you some ideas:
Why not have a try at a few figures? here are some quick sketches from the photos above - around 2 inches/5cm high.
Many artists will tell you to leave off the feet, but certainly for closer figures I think the position of the feet can help tell the viewer whether the person is standing, walking or running. Two feet firmly planted on the ground show the figure is standing, one foot raised on its toe indicates the person is walking.
Here are some wonderful cartoon figures by Fritz Ahlefeldt
which show a more fun approach but could give you some ideas.
A free website with people poses.
Examples of my paintings with figures added:
Detail from Tudor House theses are small figures:
Hanna's House - static and walking figures:
Bolton Abbey - figures in motion:
Knaresborough Market (detail):
Knaresborough Hardware Store
Why not have a play? As they say, "practice makes perfect" or in this case removes the fear of adding figures to your paintings.
Post your figures in the April Mini-Lessons Homework Thread HERE. (stars at post#40)
Hazel Soan Video
Drawing and Sketching People
Jim's Watercolor Gallery
How to add People to Street Scene - Jake Winkle
How to Paint People in Watercolor by Liron Yonconsky