I'm Getting Serious About Putting People in my Sketches

If you search Google Images for "populating landscapes", my old post from this blog may be the first picture you see.

Here is the link.

I still think that first effort wasn't terrible, but the fact is I never got around to actually putting people in my sketches!

Now that I'm getting excited about travelling again, I have promised myself that there will be people in my paintings and that they will be better than those awkward efforts.

Well, it turns out that all kinds of artists want to teach me how to do it.

My favourite art teacher these days is a very friendly young French lady named Anne Laure who has a wonderful YouTube channel full of enthusiastic tutorials. It's called Following the White Rabbit.

She just happened to have a tutorial entirely dedicated to my need of the moment, so I watched it and copied her examples as well as I could. These are the three resulting pages:

First Page

Second Page

Third Page

I hope you will agree with me that my best effort is the group on the second page! 

This is very encouraging and I will continue to practise.

In one of her other videos, Anne Laure recommends the tutorials put out by Trevor Waugh. I had never heard of him but I watched two of them and I was so impressed that I ordered his book.

It's called People in Watercolor and I found it on for a mere $15.72, including shipping.

Meanwhile, I will watch his two tutorials again and paint along with him, as I did with Following the White Rabbit. I may post my sketches... if they're not too embarrassing!

I also still think Halifax painter Ron Hazell is one of the best landscape populators ever and I have downloaded several of his paintings to use in my people practise.

This is my favourite:

Copyright Ron Hazell

The hardest part about all this, it seems to me, is finding a style that fits in with the rest of your picture. For instance, I know I will never paint such slick work as Ron Hazell. His work is so refined I won't have enough of a lifetime to achieve it - and besides, I'm not sure I want to.

Though I like their people, some of the male painters have a bold style that I'm not aiming for either. That's why I'm looking at so many examples by female painters. Some of them will be Amanda Brett and Fiona Peart, whose videos popped up on YouTube as I watched other artists' tutorials.

No, this is not the end of the people journey - it's more like the beginning.

Stay tuned!

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