Monday, May 7, 2018

Painting People While They Eat

Here's a tip for sketching people who are eating alone.

See how much of their food they've eaten. Check how long between bites. If you estimate how fast they're eating, you'll know how long you've got to sketch them.

(Link to Video on Facebook)
In the case of this subject, I knew I had only a couple of minutes, so I used gouache. Over a fast colored-pencil lay-in, I quickly laid down a warm tone for his skin tone and a blue-gray tone for his suit.

He ate the wrap was gone in less than five minutes, so I did my next steps from memory: modeling his skin tones and the tones of his jacket, painting in the wrap, and painting in a dark tone behind him.

The picture I had in mind was Adolph Menzel's "Dinner at the Ball" (detail above, full image here), where well dressed people shove down food. Reminds us that we're all human. I like the guy who holds his hat between his knees, and the other guys who are juggling a drink, a plate, and silverware.
More on Gouache
Previous posts about gouache
Gouache tutorial available at Sellfy and Gumroad.
Pentalic 5" x 8" Aqua Journal
M. Graham gouache set
Pocket plein air brush set


Willow's Quiet Corner said...

The guy holding his hat between his knees is quite inventive. I see he also has positioned his glass on the edge of the plate so he can hold it with the plate while he eats!

Evelyn said...

Thanks for this wonderful lesson, James -- I posted a link to the Chicago chapter of the Urban Sketchers.

Andra said...

But the guy on the left takes the prize - plate and glass in one hand whilst cutting something on his plate! Your timing suggestions are great; I can't imagine getting out more than my sketchbook and a pencil to capture your fellow eating his wrap!