Sketching People In Action With Acrylics, Charcoal And Collage - Explore New Ideas! | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

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Sketching People In Action With Acrylics, Charcoal And Collage - Explore New Ideas!

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Make Art Fun

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Charcoal Sketches

    • 3. Mixed Media - Lady With Umbrella

    • 4. Mixed Media - Man On Bicycle

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About This Class


In this class we will explore painting and sketching people and figures in action. It starts with using compressed charcoal and graphite in a loose style. It will end with exploring methods for painting and collaging to create some finished studies.

Who is this class for?

  • Anyone that wants to explore creative ways to paint figures and people in action.
  • Artists that want to explore alternative methods for painting with acrylics and mixed media.
  • Anyone that wants to try new ideas that mix acrylic and collaging.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Joyner

Make Art Fun


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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Robert Joyner and welcome to my skill share class for how to explore painting people in figures and motion with acrylics and mixed media. The idea in this class is that we will start with some simple, gestural sketching and then move into some creative and fun ideas on how to paint them with acrylics. Collage, a little bit of charcoal. This class is fun and well suited for intermediate and advanced painters that want to loosen up and find new ways to explore people and figures in motion. Thanks for watching, and I hope to see you on the inside. 2. Charcoal Sketches: Hello and welcome to this lesson. What I like to do whenever I'm exploring a subject is always start with the very, very basics, and that's drawing. Drawing is a way to simply break the ice, but it's also a new, approachable way that you can basically understand what it is you're creating and what to create without investing a lot of materials and time. So when I'm working with here is compressed charcoal and just some practice paper. You can use print paper, whatever, but you don't really need expensive drawing paper for things like this. So the goal here is really capture a likeness, you know, figures and people in motion and action doing everyday things. So it's It's not, um, exercise where I'm trying to create a museum quality likeness or any sort of realism. It's just more about gestural drawing. Now. We'll talk a little bit more about that as this course develops. But gestural drawing is just quick sketches that capture movement and similarities to what you're doing. It can be done very, very loosely, which is the goal, and whenever you do it this in this manner, then what you're doing is you're finding your freedom and your voice to express your subjects. Of course, you congestion oral paint as well. So gestural. Creating gestural e, I should say, isn't just something that you can only do with charcoal or graphite. You can actually do it with a paintbrush, but learning it here on this level again is the easiest way to do it. But I find a lot of people just kind of bypassed this. They kind of want to get to the finished product in the end, result a little bit too quick. And of course, you miss out on all the great qualities that and assets that this come bring to your artwork. And that's basically adding your personality. You're voicing your style to the subject. So with people is tricky because, you know, whenever I'm working with figures and people, you know, I'm kind of locked into, um, trying to get that likeness. So basically, what I mean by that is, um, trying to do it in a way that you can recognize, um, a specific person. And of course, if we were doing a portrait that say off, you know, celebrity or someone very famous and everyone knows what that looks like. Of course, drawing people and figures is similar to that for me because that there's a connection there because I am a person. I'm a human being to the details and the details. A lot of times, Ah will kind of take precedent. So it will. My brain is constantly trying to shut those details down into ignore. Um, but it's a constant battle because again, I mean with people we had the eyes, the nose, the mouth, hands, all of these little areas and and features that are so difficult and they're loaded with details at the same time. Of course, they are very ah, specific, and they're very unique to each person. So as I'm doing these gestural drawings, basically what I'm trying to do is cut that out. OK, so you eliminate the details, get what's important, and that's the motion in the movement proportions getting the legs, the body, the head, everything scaled to where looks suitable and acceptable. It's okay of this imperfecta. I like imperfections, but I want to kind of capture that Ah, a certain amount of believability, um, and recognizable to anyone that's looking at it. And anyway, um that. That's basically, you know, my struggles with it. And I think a lot of people struggled with that as well. You know, it's so easy to like. Look at a figure like this, holding up a pink umbrella and get locked into, you know, the hands of the fist, the eyes, the nose, You know, the feet, the tennis shoes. And really, it's not about that. Those things, of course, exist. But we want to make them very, very chunky. Okay, so we don't want to be too specific and to accurate with it, especially with a gestural drawing. Again. This is about finding freedom and making those connections. Okay, So what I'll do now is just put up this sketch that I created and I did Another one actually did a series of them. But this is another example. Ofs, um, gestural sketching. All right, so that concludes this lesson, and I'll see you in the next one 3. Mixed Media - Lady With Umbrella: all right. In this version, I will obviously do a figure, and I'll do it with acrylics and mixed media. Let's go over. The color is here, so I have a lizard, crimson cad, red medium, cerulean blue, burnt sienna, yellow Oakar, cat orange and then cad yellow and then my titanium white. Obviously, the palette There is a piece of cardboard paper is 15 by 11 and that's just artist grade watercolor paper. So £140 cold press. There's my mod podge, all use and some collage paper a little pointed around brush on old one. And then here's my inspiration image. So, like the figure there with the umbrella, and I'm going to start out with just laying in some darks and some little bit of ah, flesh tone there and then locate some key points, which will basically be her face or head with her hand, which is holding the umbrella and now this stone in some beige and neutrals there to establish the jacket. As you can see, I'm not using a drawing, so I didn't lay out a outline or anything like that. And what that does is it lends itself to no painting loosely. If you took the embracing imperfection course or workshop, talk a lot, a little bit about that about, you know, being becoming familiar enough with your subjects so that you feel comfortable doing these little sketches and paintings without a drawing. And if you can do that, then it is definitely going to give you a little more freedom. OK, so now I've established some of the key lines and shapes of the figure. I'm just going to explore some collage paper here, and holding that up next to the figure there gives me the good visual of how that's going to look. And I'm kind of liking the stripes there, and I think I'm trying a little bit different version of some stripes. And of course you know the inspiration image doesn't really have that. But that's the beauty of painting loose and letting things go and try and collage paper. And things like that is we don't get locked into our image. The image is our inspiration to paint, so it means to put down some paint, have some fun, do some collage ing, and then, um, you know, we don't basically trying to copy that image at all. We're just using it to have a little bit of fun. So whenever I put that collage paper down, it was just a little bit too low. So I raised that up a little bit, as you can see, a sign of a perfect shape at this point, but I'm going to come back and shape that later on. So now moving in with a palette knife. Speaking of Palin, obviously, I'm not showing my palate in this demonstration. It's just more about getting you to focus and on no, the ex exploring part of the process. And, you know, I do this a lot. I do this with all subjects, but, you know, just being able to focus on one thing versus trying to absorb everything is I think it better way to learn. And for this demonstration, I really just wanted You can take in the fun of it. And really, the this sort of stuff like this is a lot of fun to me, because I had no expectations and there's no drawing or anything like that, as I mentioned before, So it's just completely, you know, exploring and just letting things go. A little bit, kind of anything can go type of attitude and approach. So that's kind of what I'm after. And there'll be other demonstrations where I showed my palate. But for now, I just want to leave that out. So now this using, Ah, a little bit of a yellow collage paper there for the handbag. And you, of course, I could have painted that, too, with acrylics, but I decided Teoh to try the collage ing just to mix it up. And as you can see, I'm using that titanium white to basically shape things. So lob Lima brushstrokes and even the collage paper is it is very rough, So I'm not trying to get things perfect. When I lay in a brushstroke, I just kind of ballpark it, knowing that I can come back, use the background, use that white or whatever and shape things to where I feel that's more acceptable. But in the beginning stages, it's just very, very rough. All right, so now that I put down those kind of muddy looking earth tones on the jacket, I had the flexibility of coming back with the cleaner tans and kind of making that feeling of a little bit of light hitting the jacket, and that's all you know, by design. I knew when I put that kind of muddy ish color down that would give me the flexibility of coming back and adding, um, clean color to it. So basically layering things and setting things up to, you know, for a later stage. So it's kind of Osama, I guess, advanced techniques going on there and now, just dropping in little bits and pieces of detail. What could be on the umbrella? A little bit of flesh, tone on the face. Ah, the hand as well or both hands rather now and little by little, this little this small sketch here is starting to take shape. As you can see, it's ah, it's different in the picture. There was definitely some changes and tweaks going on. So it's not about capturing this particular subject or lady walking in the rain. This just about getting the feeling indicating, you know, someone walking with an umbrella and a handbag. So, uh, there is nothing to specific about trying to capture that person. It was just really about capturing the movement of it. The idea of it in that sort of thing. So all right. Now when I move in with, Ah, a little bit of the same collage paper, actually, but I decided to those some different, um, direction on the lines off God, the first collage paper. The lines are moving no north and south. So I thought, adding one east of west there, I kind of broke it up a little bit, and it made that umbrella a little more interesting. So yeah, I just kind of spontaneous fun stuff there. That's all it is. Having fun it with the medium, the subject, not putting expectations on where things need to be and exploring. I mean, this is how I learned this time I grow and subjects evolved from here and kind of approaching it with the idea of, you know, sketching with charcoal, breaking the ice and a nice gesture away coming back gestural painting again and sketching with acrylics and mixed media. It has some nice results, and all of this stuff is learning experience. It adds to my journey, adds to the subject, and but it could easily become if, as I continue to explore it. So there you are. I hope you enjoy the demo, and I'll see you in the next one 4. Mixed Media - Man On Bicycle: All right, Welcome to the demo. And this one. I'm going to zero in on one of the figures here I did in a sketch, and that's that one on the bicycle and showed the sketch there just to let you know that I spend time on these things. I get to know the subject before I dive into the next stage, which is really all about, you know, the medium and in pain, adding color. But just taking that time to do those sketches so valuable it builds confidence and familiarity. I understand the edges and the shapes better the perspective. And then I can kind of dive into the next stage and bring that confidence with it and have a little bit better results. So with this one, I'm going to start out with some collage ing. And just so you know, the pallets the same. I'm not going to show it in this demo, but the colors are all the same. It's exact same palette, So I created the first sketch now moved directly into the 2nd 1 So now just locating some of the key shape. So this will be the head, the neck you can see, I'm using this in a very muddy kind of neutrals. I like chemist, starting that way versus trying to color match. If I try to give the exact color too soon, A lot of times the no, the pain. It doesn't allow me to come back and add another layer to it and that it kind of leaves that everything kind of flat. So I like to start money and kind and accurate, just like with this collage paper here. It's just Ah ah, shape and a color that I liked, but its its not ripped out perfectly obviously. And then I'll come back like I am here, this titanium white and shape things a little bit. You give that shape a little more where I want it. And of course, all those edges, like on the paper on things like that that it all shows through. So it kind of the finished painting in the sketch will always I try to leave bits and traces of those imperfections and of those kind of the roughness of it, because I think it adds to it in the end. But anyway, so now, just using the charcoal there to establish the wheels. And what that does is just kind of brings, um, the subject for a little bit more. As you also could see, I'm not using a drawing. So I did the drawing beforehand. So I worked with those sketches and I'm familiar with things a little bit. And this subject isn't so complex where I feel like I have to put a drawing in. So any time I can explore and not use a drawing, I feel it's a good thing because it gives me freedom if you have a drawing. A lot of times, the tendency is to kind of use that coloring book mentality where you have to stay within the lines. Eso not have them lines, obviously is is the opposite and that it, you know, because you don't have the lines, you know you're going to can a paint with a little more freedom. OK, so now just using Ah, a small pointed round there, laying in some darks and kind of blocks of color, and I know that as I move forward ah, lot of that is going to be defined. But having it rough again allows me the option to come back and shape things by using the background and using drawing techniques and things like that. All right, so again, how using the small point around there, laying in that little dark and now I have a small flat. They mainly some titanium white probably has a little bit of gray in there as well and kind of putting in little pops of negative space, basically, and all the while kind of shaping things a little bit. As I go, it's certain areas of A of A sketch like this, and of a subject like this require some finesse. So you have to take your time. Look at your subject. Look at what's in front of you and try to place these. You know, these marks in a way where they make sense, they don't have to be perfect, but you want them close enough where it enhances the shape, and it makes it more believable, but loose enough to where you're you're allowing that style on that freedom of expression to kind of shine through. Okay, so the beauty is in the imperfections with a lot of what I do. All right, so now just going to establish some shadows anchor it. Teoh the ground a little bit. Have Ah, small liner brush there and I'm going Teoh, load that up with some ah acrylic. I probably use a little bit of just kind of a lighter gray. They're taking advantage of that dark space and the wheels. And I'm just going to add ah, feeling of, Ah, rim and a few spokes. And now just a little bit of highlight on the head, catching some skin tone on the forearms, knees, legs And again, it's just about suggesting things. Okay, don't try not to get lead the image control everything you do. It's just about making what's in front of you work at the stage. So now compressed charcoal is a good way to obviously draw. But to add linear interest, you can work it into wet paint to some degree. About. Some of the those areas are just raw paper, too, so no paint to speak of. And so, uh, some of those marks come out a little more bold, while others come out kind of blending into the paint a little bit, so they have a little bit softer edge, so I probably should have mounted the camera or stabilized it here. But I was going to take you on a tour around the painting and show you the finished product . But as I started to do that, I felt like there were some negative spaces that could be added here just to enhance the overall shape and feeling of the subject. Some kind doing that as I hold it. But there you go. There's the final piece there and again, acrylic collage, that sort of thing. And it's fun, you know. It's a nice, loose way to explore your subjects, whether you're doing figures, boats, landscapes, still life painting, it just doesn't matter. But I hope you enjoy the demo and I'll see you guys in the next one.