Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Figure in motion

Stepping Out
30 x 14
Another child on the beach painting: this one came, as so many do, from a small figure far in the distance in one of the many photos that randomly snap while I'm sitting on the sand.  Invariably, the figures that I like are the ones that are far away and blurry, not the ones that are focused and close up.  That would be too easy.

This little girl looked like she was on a mission: intent and determined.  The photo was generally monochromatic because she had blond hair and her suit was overexposed, and I knocked around the idea of painting this entirely in variations on ochre, but I decided to try to get more colour into it.  The first element I placed with any gusto was her hair, making it blue black.  That helped me to gauge the value of the shadows on her body and allowed me to place the fairly intense colours of her bathing suit.

My goal with this piece was to capture her in as few marks as possible and to make each of those marks very descriptive.  I sacrificed modelling through this approach, but then, there wasn't enough information in the photo to model her convincingly anyway.

Another goal was to avoid slavish outlining which has the effect of freezing the action.  To make her feel like she was in motion, I used lost edges throughout the figure, allowing the background to invade the body and the body colour to move freely into the background.

I like this painting.  It's simple, but it moves me as the bold little girl on the beach did.  I hope you enjoy it.

Happy painting!

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