We often have impromptu mini demonstrations during our weekly meetings. Some time ago Paul Fisher, former chair and member of Lacock Art Group, gave us a 10 minute demo on painting people to help loosen painting styles based on "Bob's Blobs" - no initial drawing, straight in with the brush and loads of juicy watercolour to create vibrant crowd scenes using the wet into wet technique.
The idea is to be loose, starting with random vertical strokes of colour which are allowed to flow into each other on the paper, which is best kept vertical or at a steep angle. This is followed by 'sketchy' vertical strokes of a dark tone for the legs leaving some shorter than others to indicate walking. You don't need to be exact and have two legs for all the bodies - let them flow together and then finish by 'blobbing' burnt umber for the heads, angling them slightly to indicate 'conversations'.
Finish with a stroke or two for the shadows to plant the people on the ground. In the example painting, note the gap left to accommodate the person closer to the viewer (Paul's 'Bath' lady) and also note that on level ground, the top of her head is the same as the more distant people - it's the body that is longer.
Brian (Sherwin's) picture below of Tower Bridge shows how Bob's Blobs are used for the crowd scene to the left of the painting.
With a little practice you will soon be able to use this style to great effect in your own paintings.
NB this blog was first posted in 2016 by Paul Fisher