Playing with Figures

I have long wanted to work more with the human form.  It is something that I just do not seem to get around to tackling.  I do frequent life drawing classes and have even attempted working in oils while studying the figure.  That being said, I have never tried to develop a painting using figures... until now!

 All in a Day's Work     Oil / Canvas

All in a Day's Work     Oil / Canvas

The irony is this painting started out as a series of drawings done from an apartment window over morning coffee.  While visiting, I couldn't believe my good fortune that I could see down into a construction site while all of the workers were heading off to their daily tasks!  It was intense, early morning sun which cast shadows of a multitude of colors... I was in HEAVEN!  I did not have my paints with me, but did have my every-ready sketchbook!  I took photos, but found that most of my information for this painting was gathered from careful notes and sketches of figures and their shadows. Mind you, they were very crude and simple drawings... but enough to convey my own excitement to me at a later date.

I stuck to my original idea for the most part.  The focal area was the figure in front of the dark shadow.  I included the shadow to the left of him as well as his own shadow.  For this reason, I gave this area higher contrast with the building behind, more details and shapes that I attempted to connect.

I struggled a little with whether to get 'ruler' straight with all of this construction, but felt that it would enhance the painting to leave lines freehand and a little lopsided.  The front table definitely had that going on already and I felt that I wanted a sense of human quality in all of the geometry. 

The added painting bonus was the textures!  I wanted to do the whole thing in concrete, it was so fun to paint!  I even broke loose with a palette knife.

I am inspired to get to work on some more figure paintings!  In the meantime, however, I have the good fortune of attending a Jill Carver plein air workshop next week... Life is full of great learning opportunities!