Figures in Paintings

Pissarro (left) and Monet

Two from Turner

Bellotto (left) and Canaletto

I often draw in the National Gallery and last week I spent some time studying figures from several different painters. These are some of the sketches I made of incidental figures. All of these figures, although not the main focus of the paintings, have a vital role to play. They add life and scale to the scene. Since the eighteenth century they have been known as staffage.

Below are some examples from my own work.

Above left: Little Boltons (detail). Above right: Pall Mall (detail)

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