How to paint a figure

  1. Paint your figure in as few brush strokes as possible.
  2. Paint fast without thinking too much - these figures are not the main focus of the painting your viewer will use his imagination to fill in the details.


man2 man1




  1. Mix up a fairly dark shade and in one stroke paint a carrot shape. Try to paint as one shape instred of drawing and outline and filling it in. Notice the slight slope to the shoulders.
  2. While the paint is still wet add in the legs in 2 strokes. Try to paint one slightly thicker than the other. Its nice to have some white space between the legs, this gives an impression of movement.
  3. Quickly add one stroke for the arm (don't make the 2 arms the same) and add a small oval shape for the head. Don't make the head too big it should be 1/8th of the body size (if you make it too small it's eay to enlarge but if it's too big it's difficult to make smaller!



VanGogh watercolour: Ulramarine + Paynes Grey - Watercolour paper Gerstaecker 300gm.

A figure - side view

man side no shoes

The try a figure from the side.

Add a shadow by dragging out with clean water

Avoid adding dark shoes