Capturing the figure

Capturing an image of a person is an illusive challenge for me.

Over many years I have worked at capturing the essence, the body posture of a person. 
I am not interested in rendering a person realistically...each hair, eyelash, lip in perfect formation.
Rather it is the essence, the persona, the posture of what is going on in front of me that I find intriguing. 
The following sketches are in various mediums, differing amount of time spent, some finished many not finished. Hopefully each image will set your mind at wondering who they are, what they are doing and can you feel some personality peeking through.

An exercise in capturing the body movement of a model. We studied her for a few minutes. Then she broke pose. We sketched (oil on paper). Then she returned and we had a few minutes to complete.

Working from a photograph, watching for values and the bare minimum of sketch. 
The idea is not to duplicate the photograph.
Oil on canvas.

Three distinct personalities, but all waiting.
Red wash over the canvas before painting.

Brown paper sketchbook. Very pale washes of watercolor
with fine pen sketching. Captures a moment....

Working  with multiple photographs taken in Cambodia, designs were sketched on watercolor paper. Each has collage paper from their country.  All express what I saw and felt without being specific.
Gouache on watercolor paper.
Most outlining done in thick gouache.

Sketching is fun and one can only get better with practice.
Time for me to spend a little more time with my sketches on paper.


  1. so nice to see your work again! Love the three waiting on the bench - you definitely captured the essence of three distinct personalities.

  2. thank you for your visit this morning, it meant the world to me...that you would share me with someone so dear to you!
    i am finally home and here you are inspiring me with each vibrant offering! oh to be neighbors and share the colours of life together!

  3. I love how you work to capture just the essence of a person - that is such a gift.

  4. These are so wonderful! I love how you are continually experimenting and exploring. Your people are wonderful - especially love the three sitting on the bench.

  5. i imagined you beside me as i painted today. and then in the garden as i tugged free the burgeoning weeds of spring and followed the blue heron to the ponds edge...


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon