I’ve been approached a number of times in the last 6 months to come to events and do live drawing and sketching of guests. I admire artists who do this but I have become set in my ways doing commercial projects from my studio, working from photographic reference with total privacy. If I mess up, I scrap the painting and start again. I have the freedom to scan and digitally tweak things like contrast and color.
I was recently approached to do a backdrop for a special event and to live draw editors and guests as they come in. I turned down the on site part initially but the client persisted so I wound up agreeing. It’s been a while since I’ve painted from observation. I used to love doing figure drawing and painting but it’s been a while so I invited a couple of friends over and took out my paints and went to it. My goal was to paint them as quickly as possible. At the event I’ll only have a couple of minutes for each painting. I tried a couple of different materials but realize that watercolors are truly home for me. I’ll use a limited palette and aim to use the simplest strokes to capture the movement, energy and gesture of my subject and then if there’s time I’ll add some more details.