Saturday, 26 November 2011

You Can Paint People in Watercolour by Sharon Finmark

I usually steer clear of trying to draw or paint people mainly due to not being able to get a satisfactory likeness, so I was attracted to the title and the subtitle "A step-by-step guide for ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS".  Sounded like a good place to start.  The artist's style I would describe as producing paintings that are 'fresh and loose' rather than full of fine detail.  Some may not like the drawing and wash appearance but I found it helpful to get practice with colour and tone to suggest three dimensional shapes.  The aim of the book is captured in the introduction "this book will enable you to add convincing figures to your painting".  Having worked through many of the suggestions and examples I believe I can say that it worked for me.  A section of the book I found particularly helpful was one looking at skin tone which I always struggle with in watercolours.  After a couple of poor attempts I started to get the idea of building up in layers and placing tones to highlight facial features.  In the end I don't think I was any better at capturing a likeness but that was never the promise of the book just my wishful thinking, but I was better at making marks on the paper in watercolour which looked like people.

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