Artist groups abound on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the beauty of weather changing from Summer to Autumn.This is the season when artists head to their studios with new inspiration from summer activities as well as vibrant colors of foliage. A thriving art community in the Cowichan area hosts many different activities, and I had the pleasure of conducting a watercolor workshop with Crofton Art Group this last week. This devoted group of artists work hard to provide a challenging scope of art instruction for continued growth and good fellowship.
We explored creating street scenes with figurative action, lighting drama and a simple one-point perspective approach. This serves well for street studies regardless of the medium you’re working in. The studies shown here followed a session of working in charcoal. Soft vine charcoal serves well to get the feel of the strokes you’ll be making with the brush. The goal is to create loose, expressive figures in watercolor, retaining the feel of the medium. Watercolor looks best when it is left loose and watery – let watercolor “feel” like watercolor! Starting with the head, press the charcoal stick into the paper surface and quickly lift off the stroke, just as you will with a brush filled with wet watercolor. Lifting the tool quickly off the paper surface allows for soft undefined edges, leaving the imagination to “see” movement.
When studying the perspective of a scene, an easy way to find the receding lines is to remember that the horizon line can be thought of as the “eye level” line. This is helpful when you can’t actually see a horizon because of the busy streets and buildings often hiding where land meets sky. Begin your sketches with the figures. Their eyes intersect the horizon line, so lightly sketch this reference line across the drawing. Place one vanishing point on this eye level line and develop your sketch from there. The figures also help you determine the height of doorways. Once you have these few basic references, you are free to sketch in windows, building details, cars and bicycles and receding figures.
Cityscape Figures: One-point Perspective
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