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Human Figure in Watercolor

September 18, 2011

This post deals with painting human figures in watercolor. The importance of human figures in a composition, approaches how to paint them and a few examples have been given.

Human figure is an important part of almost any composition. If we are painting a landscape, an insertion of a human figure can enhance the mood of the painting. For example, if a vast sky over a meadow is our subject, a small human figure could relate the connection and ‘scale’ between the man and the nature. Next comes the action of the figure, which means what it does in the composition, such as relaxing, watching, collecting crops or just taking a stroll beneath the open sky. Imagine a foggy early morning of winder when most of us are sleeping, someone is walking down on the road. He/she must have some important work to do that made hi/her to come out from his/her warm room. He/she is trying to wrap the body as much as possible to escape from the frozen bite of the wind. We can not see him/her completely but can only get a hint of the body which is crawling down. So human figure is important. In case of a cityscape human figure is a must. A street corner, a busy road, lazy Sunday, park, restaurant wherever it is, we see human figures and their activities.

Quick sketch is therefore necessary to understand different activities and engagement of people with their works. I personally do not like very detailed painting of a particular figure in a composition unless the painting demands. So small and quick sketches are enough to give the essence. Different country, different people so their physique is. If we observe we might find it very interesting that everyone is different and other. Our sketches should reflect that. Here I have given 9 examples of watercolor sketches in 3 different groups. Many variations could be possible according to our need. Those possibilities can be explored later on.

So start sketching. Go to any park, shopping mall, restaurant or just sit by the side of a busy road and sketch human figures as much as you can. You know Indian figures are quite different compared to western figures. I have cited some examples based on photographs. Hope you will like them. HAPPY PAINTING!!!

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2 Comments
  1. watercolor lover permalink

    nice post. keep it up. ❤ 🙂

    • Anindya permalink

      thanks. 😀

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