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Lesson 3

Figures

Gael Stirler


The female figure in this scroll is painted lightly in pale pinks and greens then modeled with slightly darker shades of pink in the folds of her skirt. The male figure below required more modleing in his arms, legs, cap, and clothing because he was bigger. The man's hooplande and cap are further enhanced with a brocade design rendered in white over the base coat. The sun on the Lady's scroll is painted first in yellow and then the modeling in the face is painted with a darker shade of yellow ochre to make it look like light is coming from the left and the right side is in shadow. A smaller version of this sun face is found in the heraldry on the "king" scroll below.


The lord to the left is polishing his sword. This gives you an opportunity to make metal look shiny. For the hilt use yellow ochre and burnt sienna with white highlights. The blade should be painted in light and dark grey leaving white areas of shine. Go lightly on the paint in metal areas. The lap robe is made of fur. It should be painted with a base coat of burnt sienna. Then with a very dry #0 brush and dark brown and black paint draw tiny strokes for the fur in the depression between his legs and the forward edge of the fur. Now clean your brush thoroughly and bring it to a point. With white paint on a #0 or smaller brush draw tiny lines for the fur in the highlighted areas where the fur rests on the tops of his legs. There is fur on the king's collar in the picture below. It was painted in black with white highlights.


The small portraits of the King and Queen were first drawn lightly in pencil. Then a base coat of pale flesh color (white, yellow ochre, and a dash of vermillion) was painted on the faces. A darker shade of the same color was painted on the edges of the faces and the left side of the nose, under the brows and under the chin to give the face depth. A hint of pink was added to the cheeks and lips. Their blond hair was painted with yellow ochre and burnt sienna with white highlights. Notice how it is darker underneath than on top. The crowns are shiny metal and should be painted with vertical stripes of yellow ochre, white and burnt sienna to simulate gold.


There are many figures in this Laurel Promissory Scroll. The figure of the The Muse in the center is rendered in watercolor with modeling in the face, clothing, and hair. Take special note of the alternating waves of light and dark ochre in the hair. The clothing is also enhanced with whitework brocade patterns. Notice how simple the patterns are yet they add a rich texture to the fabric. Little figures symbolizing several different arts are included in the leafy border. The leaves are kept simple so that they will not detract from the miniatures. Even though they are small, care has been taken to give each figure a little modeling. Notice the wine glass, especially how it was painted to look transparent.

This is a more advanced scroll with flying cherubs or putti as they were called, a King and Queen, and a face in the initial cap. I shaded the putti and the people first with grey in the flesh areas then painted the lighted parts of the faces, bodies and hands with a mixture of white and orange. Then I shaded the cheeks and other ruddy areas with pink. See how shading the flesh with grey instead of brown makes it look more natural. It is also the way they did it in period. Here is an example.

I painted the clothing and draperies with a medium shade of whatever color I wanted for the item and then shaded the folds with a darker shade of the same color. I used white for the highlights on the folds. The more contrast the shinier the fabric looks.

Here is another advanced scroll with playful putti sitting on the arch. The main figure is draped in a Grecian gown painted in greys and white. I shaded her and the putti with greys and blues then used light pinks and oranges on the lighted skin. The blond hair was painted first with yellow ochre then shadows were added with a neutral shade. Highlights of red and white were added then a few accents of black to deepen the darkest shadows.

Notice the red shading around the arch. It adds a counterpoint to the blue sky and helps separate the arch from the paper. It is a bold color statement that I wouldn't have tried except I saw it on a late period miniature and loved it.

In the next lesson you will learn how to draw and paint leafy borders

Go to Lesson 4: Leafy Borders.

Go back to Lesson 2: Diaperwork.


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© 2002-2004Gael Stirler, Inc. 1-520-721-8346
Unless otherwise noted all art is the work of Gael Stirler.
AKA Mistress Dairine mor o' hUigin, OL


This page was last updated Monday, 16-Mar-2009 15:36:14 CDT