Por­traits In The Wild

Peo­ple Power Use the out­side world to gen­er­ate a rich as­sort­ment of char­ac­ters for your art, with the guid­ing hand of James Gur­ney

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

Pub­lisher Gur­ney Stu­dio Price £10/£17 For­mat Down­load/DVD Web www.james­gur­ney.com

For all the em­pha­sis in art train­ing on anatomy, the hu­man body man­i­fests it­self in an end­less va­ri­ety of forms. And that’s with­out ac­count­ing for gen­der, age, race, per­son­al­ity and style. Cap­tur­ing such di­ver­sity in your art­work is both an op­por­tu­nity and a chal­lenge.

James Gur­ney’s lat­est video shows him do­ing the ground­work that sup­ports his suc­cess­ful at­tempts to rep­re­sent the breadth of hu­man­ity in his illustrations. As with all his In The Wild’ videos, you’ll watch him use an out­door draw­ing and paint­ing kit to solve cre­ative chal­lenges.

The task this time is to get fig­ures on to pa­per while the ‘models’ get on with what­ever they’re do­ing: queue­ing for food at a coun­try fair, work­ing in a his­tor­i­cal re-en­act­ment vil­lage or per­form­ing in a choir, for ex­am­ple. There’s also a more for­mal mod­el­ling ses­sion, with a model who, James says, “We knew wouldn’t stay still.”

There’s no guar­an­tee that the sub­ject will re­tain the same pose or even, in the case of the queue, stay in view un­til you’ve fin­ished. James shows you how he ad­justs his tech­nique to suit the time he has, fo­cus­ing in quick stud­ies on ges­ture and the dis­tinc­tive el­e­ments that sug­gest char­ac­ter. You’ll also see how the sit­u­a­tion makes him switch be­tween cap­tur­ing the sub­ject or the back­ground first; get­ting val­ues down ahead of colour is a con­sis­tent de­ci­sion.

James’ In The Wild videos never of­fer the den­sity of tech­ni­cal ad­vice you’d ex­pect from, say, a Gnomon Work­shop video. In­stead, they’re cre­ative bea­cons, in­form­ing the way you ap­proach your craft and en­cour­ag­ing you to use the world around you to en­rich your work. There’s also a great deal of en­joy­ment to be had from the char­ac­ters that you meet along the way; and the Sa­cred Harp choir per­for­mance, which you’ll hear frag­ments of as James paints, is sen­sa­tional.

In Por­traits In The Wild, James Gur­ney chooses four lo­ca­tions where he’s able to cap­ture a va­ri­ety of in­for­mal poses. This water­colour sketch com­prises peo­ple cap­tured at dif­fer­ent times as they join and leave a busy queue.

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