August 27, 2010

Market Figures

Here is the next installment of paintings from Paint the Town last weekend.  I started out in the Farmer's Market and the biggest difference between the market and the places where I most often paint is the people.  There are people everywhere, especially this past week as it was a beautiful saturday in the middle of August.  People were at the market to socialize, buy blueberries, peaches and fresh tomatoes to eat with basil and fresh french bread.  Oh, the bread at that market is fabulous! 

Enough about food...

On to people.  There being lots of them that is what I tried to paint.  But they kept moving.  This one below is from a hurried pencil sketch of a father who kept carrying his little girl around the market.  She could not have been any more than 3.  As they kept moving back and forth around the market I was able to almost capture them.

Dad and Tot, 7 x 5", watercolour, plein air

So after trying to paint moving targets for a while, I moved to a "captive" model.  Mark, the saxophosist, plays every Saturday for the market crowd. 

Sax on Saturday, 10 x 7", SOLD

The musician viewed this over my shoulder as I was finishing it up and told me that he approved.  He especially liked that I captured the silver colour of the bell of the sax.  It seems that his is a silver saxophone, which he said most people do not notice.  After I painted this sketch of him I decided that a musician needs an audience so I did a larger painting using the same drawing as my reference (as he had packed up for lunch) and painted the following:

Market Music, 10 x 14", watercolour

The only problem with recycling a sketch is that sometimes I realize after the fact that there is something wrong with the initial sketch.  In this case, I had messed up the dimensions of his figure a bit in that he is not quite so lean and lanky in truth as he looks in the painting.  Though I painted him with the build of an NBA player, that was my own unintentional fabrication. 

Part of why I wanted to focus on people that morning was so that I can get better at painting them.  As long as I learn from the mistakes that I make and do not repeat them, I will be happy to carry on making new ones!  (As long as I learn from them, too!)


  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful paintings Poppy. I get such a feeling of serenity from them. You are truly gifted. Susan

  2. Susan, I am pleased to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words.