Tourists in San Gimignano

San Gimignano

A photo as a starting point for your painting.

This little exercise should be painted quickly. As for colors, you can use any. I myself used as a base: phthalo blue and venetian red and all sorts of others for the people in the foreground. But a brown as well as some blue is recommended as a basis for the painting.

The painting is done quickly without a pencil sketch. If you think it seems difficult to do it without a drawing, draw a little but in that case not too detailed. The meaning of the painting is to be quick and spontaneous, without detailed work and with free brush strokes.

Step 1

Start by painting shadows, the entire far part of the buildings is in shadow. Paint it flat without attempting gradations or shifts in color tone. Leave the right part of the buildings, which have sunlight on them, unpainted. My attempt later turned out to be too light, so I had to add more shadow color afterwards. To avoid this mistake, you can make the shadow over the houses darker than I managed.

Keep in mind that the people in front of the houses should be left out, you have to paint around them so that they look like white silhouettes, paint on the people will come later.

Also the long shadows on the ground after the people must be painted. I made them bluish and darker than the shadow on the buildings. Unfortunately there is a dark shadow in the photo of the painting at the bottom of the picture, it slightly obscures the shadows, look at the shadows in the pictures a few steps later to see them well.

Step 2

Use your brown color to paint the buildings, in my case that means venetian red. Save windows, doorways and people.

Just like the previous step, this should be painted a little quickly. For example, the paint on the tower didn’t have time to dry before I painted the darker brown area around the windows, so the dark color flowed into the color that the tower is already painted with, you shouldn’t worry about such little things, I personally think it’s neat when such happens.

Step 3

If you mix your brown color with the blue, the result will be black, or at least dark color. Make such a color mixture and paint all the little things on the houses with it. This means window frames, any mullion, doors and all the little squiggles on the houses.

Don’t use the same color mix for everything, for example I painted the back houses with a blue toned mix and the houses on the right with a warmer more brownish mix.

As you can see I also painted over the rear houses with a darker shadow color, you might not need to if you were brave enough with your first shadow in step 1.

Step 4

All people in the foreground must be painted colorfully with colors of your choice. I use the same blue color as for everything else, and in addition to it, a red and yellow color. As a skin color, I only use my brown color unmixed and well diluted with water.

Keep in mind that the light is coming from the back of the painting, so all the people will have a light outline. Therefore, do not paint all the way to the background color, but leave a small gap so that the backlight is captured. If you need, you can also fix a bit with the buildings in the background.

A motif like this can be made unnecessarily meticulous. Then you probably lose credibility at the same time. By painting freely and a little quickly, the picture becomes spontaneous and more believable because the viewer has the opportunity to add what is missing.

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Ingela Mellgren Ohlsson
Ingela Mellgren Ohlsson
8 months ago

Hej, Erik!
Får jag använda din bild till en liten workshop jag ska hålla kring att måla människor i miljöer, med fokus på perspektiv och proportioner.?
Ypperlig förklaring och handledning av dig.

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