Although not essential, it is interesting to consider
.how figures relate to the buildings they inhabit, or visit, or work in and around. on the whole, figures tf.ni) to havf. some relationship with one another if they are in the same scene, whether they are talking to one another, or simply participating in the same actively. in our capacity as artists, they are always worthy of our consideration.
Ultramarine violet makes a particularly good warm shadow colour
Shadows are important as they not only anchor figures to the ground, but they also help to connect the people with the buildings or structures that they are standing next to
The interplay of light and shade created by figures moving across the front of a building or street market stall can add interest to a scene
Hair colour was mixed with a very watery mixture of raw sienna with the slightest touch of cadmium red
Project: Indoor Market Stalls
The first stage with this composition was to produce a reasonably detailed drawing incorporating the buildings, architectural facets, market stalls and figures, ensuring that the rules of" perspective as considered on page 104 were followed, with the figures and structures decreasing in proportion towards the distance.
Once the initial drawing was complete, the first stage was to put an underwash onto the buildings. As usual, no consideration was given at this stage to tonal values or light and
shade - just a layer of raw sienna onto which the textures and shadows in the subject would eventually be painted.
As this initial underwash was drying, a small brush was used to apply an underwash to the remaining fabric of the building. A watery cobalt blue was used for the paintwork on the wrought-ironwork supporting the roof, and cadmium red and sap green for the coloured woodwork of the shop fronts. This completed the underwash stage for the fabric of the buildings against which the hustle and bustle of the market would be recorded.
U tel c1
I A flat underwash of raw sienna was applied with a medium-size brush to the brick areas of the building and allowed to dry, with no attempt at shading.
2 The remainder of the built structures were painted in their appropriate colours (cobalt blue, sap green and cadmium red) with a small brush, creating a background against which the rest of the picture could be painted.
3 The gaps in the ironwork were painted with a small brush, using cobalt blue, burnt umber and raw sienna, and left to dry. A medium brush was used to apply the same mixture underneath any ledges, and then pulled downwards using clear water to create shadows and textures.
4 The deeper tones of the door- and window-frame colours were mixed and applied using a small brush. The bottom edges of the frames were painted with the tip of the small brush and a touch of ultramarine.
The next two stages involved creating shadows and textures, building on the underwash already created.
The first area to be developed was the section of the wall directly underneath the wrought-ironwork. Using a small brush. I painted a mixture of cobalt blue, burnt limber and raw sienna in between the gaps in the ironwork. With a medium brush, a line of the same paint mixture was run directly underneath the ironwork and pulled downwards, using a little clear water. This process was continued behind and around all the ridges and ledges.
Stronger, less diluted mixtures of the same I 12
colours used for the brightly painted wooden window and door frames were prepared next. Again, these were applied using a small brush. The area directly underneath the frames needed to be darkened a little as no light was coming up from the ground. Using the tip of my small brush. I added a touch of ultramarine to both the red and the green and, taking great care, painted the undersides of the frames, placing a shadow in the correct place to enhance the three-dimensional feel that was now developing.
The final stage here was to complete the windows and doors by painting the glass. As the windows were not directly reflecting s i mi i i hi outdoor light, .1 higher proportion ofburnt umber was included in the usual window mixture of ultramarine and cobalt blue. Then, using a small brush again, this was carefully painted around the reflections and the signs and stickers that appear so frequently in shop frontages.
The next stage in this composition involved establishing an underwash on which to develop the people. The figures in the far background were the first to be painted.
Since little (if any) detail was required at this stage, I used a medium brush to apply loosely an underwash of cobalt blue and burnt umber to the cluster of people on the
5 Background figures were painted using a medium brush to apply an underwash of cobalt blue and burnt umber. Colours were applied separately and allowed to bleed. Details were picked out with a small brush working onto dry paint to create shadows.
far right of the picture. This represented most ot the colours of their visible clothing, and when dry. would be used to represent the lightest ot tones — areas such as shoulders, arms and bags that would be likely to catch the light and maybe reflect a little of it. I left this to dry. The next stage was to paint in a few shadows under the arms, underneath jackets, behind bags and so on. to make the light sections stand out. and give some definition to the figures in the process. This was done using the tip of a small brush, and with only a dab or two of colour.
Having completed the background figures, it was then the turn ot those moving
6 Skin tones on the middle-ground figures were painted using a small brush and an extremely watery mixture of raw sienna with the slightest touch of cadmium red. Shadows were created using cobalt blue.
in or out of the middle ground. Exactly the same technique was used in painting most of the figures. However, as they were closer, more of them could be seen, and both the skin and hair colours had to be considered. My basic skin colour is mixed with the slightest imaginable touch of raw sienna and even less cadmium red — and a lot of water. This colour is more of a tint, and, using a small brush, I applied it as a single wash and allowed it to dry. The hair was then painted using a combination of burnt umber, raw-sienna and cobalt blue - again, as tints. The shadows were then added under the chins and around the collars by picking out the shadow shapes with a small brush and a hint of cobalt blue - the translucent qualities of the paint ensured that the skin colour remained constant, only the tone varied.
The final stages of this composition involved applying an underwash to the visual clutter in the foreground and then moving on to paint the shadows and darkest stones with a small brush, which had the effect of pushing the lighter tones forward.
As usual, the underwash colours were applied loosely with a medium brush, and allowed to dry. Having completed this, the shadows in between the handles of the cart and the struts and planks, and the areas between the spokes of the cartwheels, were picked out using a small brush. The depth of tone varied considerably, ranging from the deepest tones at the top of the triangular shape created by the carts, to the lighter shadows with clearly discernible shapes 011 the ground. Only two colours were used, but a wealth of tones was created. Ultramarine and burnt umber give the deepest, darkest tones, and these were painted in the dark areas at the top of the cart shapes. The mixture was gradually diluted for the lighter tones in the lower part of the foreground. It was only when the shadows had been established that the brighter colours of the red and green carts were applied, using cadmium red and sap green respectively.
This picture was completed by painting the larger-than-life figure in the foreground using the same technique as previously described, only picking out a few more folds and creases in the clothing for shading.
Covi n i C.ardi x Marke i ondon
The effect of flaking plaster was created by running a very fine line of ultramarine directly underneath the coloured edge using the tip of a small brush. This will dry, creating a shadow
Scratches on the drainpipe were created by allowing thin, vertical stripes of white paper to show through
Some of the patchy appearance of the plaster was created by dropping clear water onto damp paint and allowing it to dry with a hard edge
The marked contrasts of the red and green were the initial attraction of this study
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