Sometimes you just feel inspired and today a challenge on redbubble (a photo/art sharing site) took my fancy. The brief was to paint "People". I keep a folder of images and photos of people in various situations, some that I've taken myself and some cuttings from papers and magazines to provide reference material and inspiration.
I found a photo that I'd taken at Patchings Art Fair a year or two ago. I liked the way the scene was slightly backlit and set off doing a quick contour style sketch. I concentrated on the outline shapes of the people trying to forget that they were people and seeing them as shapes one in relation to another. Just drawing a continuous outline not taking my pencil off the paper makes me freer in my drawing and this tends to capture the movement/gestures in the figures.
When painting the scene I tried to concentrate on the tones and the shapes they made. I only laid paint where there was a mid or dark tone, which meant that the highlighted side of the people shapes remained without paint on them. I painted the background darker than it actually was to bring out the figure shapes.
Anyway, it took a couple of hours and it was fun for a change!