Scale again

Yesterday, I wrote about how scale affects paint handling. A figure on a 6-inch canvas is painted differently than the same figure on a 6-foot canvas. Pretty straightforward but a lot of artists get stuck in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

There’s also another way that scale determines my approach–figure scale. The main figures in the painting on the floor, Lenses, are very near lifesize. The other figures grow smaller as they move away from us, the viewer. There are 23 figures in this 56″ x 40″ painting.

The larger figures recieve more detailed treatment than those in the background. It is a waste of time to attempt the same detail for the background figures. My job here is to capture the figure’s character in the most efficient way possible.

The top painting in the photo, The Entertainer, while nearly the same size as Lenses, constrains the figures in a much narrower range. No figure approaches lifesize. Over-much detail would be lost on these figures but they still require closer treatment than the background figures in Lenses.

I worked on both of these unfinished paintings on this gloomy December day.

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