Wondering how to paint during a live figure drawing session

Wondering how to paint during a live figure drawing session

I have achieved a drawing style that is pleasing / that I'm pleased with, this year. But it's lacking colour.

Line drawing of a seated woman.

So I've been trying to paint with colour during the online figure sessions. Here are four from Saturday's marathon figure drawing session, organised by Judith Yaws 

The model is Frankie @floorlengthfrankie who has floor length, black hair. She chose to wear cerulean blue stockings and an electric blue feather fascinator. Her pregnancy made her figure even more interesting to draw. Oops I mean paint.

Painting sketch of a pregnant woman wearing blue stockings

Struggles and problems

Work flow is an important part of the creative process, especially with the limited time frame of online figure sessions (usually 5 to 20 minute poses). For example: having the right size and type of materials to hand. I found myself stumbling along with a work stutter when it came to painting the figure. Inexperience means I'm not even sure what size brush I want to use, and where. 

I have a limited number of brushes and some of them are too soft and floppy. I found myself grabbing the right size and texture of brush, only to find it loaded with the wrong colour. So then, I needed to clean the brush and dry it a little before dipping it into the correct colour. Which used up a good portion of the timed pose. Wastes paint as well.

Painting sketch of standing pregnant woman with arm up. Blue stockings.


A good work flow plan might be to pick 3 each of 3 sizes of brush and 3 colours. Then I could keep them loaded with one colour ready. On the other hand, buying extra brushes would be costly.

Should I switch to using my iPad? Pros and cons all round. I'm new to the iPad also, but on the plus side there is an almost infinite array of brushes. You can change brush sizes quickly. It's easy to switch colours. I think I will try this next time I want to paint directly with colour.

Another saving grace would be to practice before the online session and build up some methodologies ready for the timed poses.

Painted sketch of pregnant woman sitting on the floor.


Also can't decide whether I want to use pen on top of the paint. It seems to work in some instances and not others. I don't like the one below much. It looks too fussy. I prefer the looser style of painting. But that doesn't match my drawing style, which is more precise.

Paint sketch of pregnant woman kneeling.






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