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Simplifying figures

When we look to incorporate human figures and buildings into our landscapes we worry how recognisable they will be, which is a problem we didn't have when painting clouds and seascapes. However if we think of figures and buildings as just elements in the design of our painting then we will focus on the visual impact they have.

in Berthe Morisot's painting all we need is the outline of the figures to get hooked on the painting which is made up of lively brushstrokes with contrasts that give a clear sense of depth wwithout much emphasis on "realistic painting".

Renoir is more interested in the feel of his painting of Paris rather than a detailed depiction of what he saw, and as viewers we accept abstract brushstrokes to stand in for people.

The elements that make up the foreground and background of this painting below are clearly separated by colour but have the same importance in the composition emphasising its decorative aspect.

Sickert often used newspaper cuttings for his source material and then created a "variation" off it.

On Thursday we will practice simplifying the human form and setting it against an architectural background that together make a visually striking image so that the week after that we can have a go painting "en plein air" in front of the School of Art and Design.

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