Stepping outside my comfort zone

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.

Here are some of the paintings I did the other night as warm ups. Thanks for posing Rubi and Natalie.