Placing figures in a landscape, for me at least, is always problematic. I’m fascinated by artists who paint figures first, then fit the landscape around them. This seems to be the logical way to do it.
In this painting, although the story is of the Christmas Morning church goers, the figures are incidental to the scene, so their placing is better in an already finished landscape. As you can imagine, painting wet on wet, adds a few more problems. I would plan the figure as a separate sketch, experimenting with different figures and their sizes before attempting to paint them in. As in the previous painting, by lightly ‘scratching’ the figure on the wet paint the correct size and shape of the figure can be worked out. When the correct ‘drawing’ is made any unwanted marks can be repaired by lightly reworking the wet paint. Also, if there is a heavy layer of paint its advisable to scrape this off before adding the paint of the figure. Wet on wet does not allow for errors, so be careful. It sounds like a pain in the neck, but as you can see in the video its not that daunting.
I will be printing the Christmas cards (this painting and previous one) next week. I will include observations and a few photos of the finished product in future posts.
UPDATE: Christmas Cards available at ONLINE SHOP.
Here’s the video of the painting of above picture.