Successful drawings and paintings express emotion. If we cannot connect with some kind of feeling, there isn’t much being said, however the emotions you might express in your work may not evoke the same reaction with the viewer. Here lies an intangible mystery – something is “speaking” to the viewer in a way you may not have intended and in my experience they are often nostalgic and touch the viewer in a deep way. If you want a certain mood to get across, there are classic ways to express that. In formal figurative work design elements really come in to play such as exciting or subdued color, texture, stroke, direction, high key light-hearted values or dark somber settings – this all has a huge impact. I would rather see awkwardly rendered figures with emotion than photo perfect copies that lack feeling.
That said, the study of the human form is a rewarding life long pursuit, where some of the most satisfying work can be created. It always behooves us to study human form, so never hesitate pursuing this journey. Let figures be the main subject, or add small gestures of human form in street and landscapes or beaches, and let stories unfold!
How To – Windswept on Quadra Island
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