"I have often thought of an art school where the model might hold the pose in one room and the work might be done in another." The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
When I first read this in The Art Spirit years ago, it was a bit daunting to me. However, over the years, I have taken it to heart and have filled my sketch books with drawings done from memory. I may start a sketch from life but inevitably the person will walk away. At this point, I try to finish my sketch from what I know. I also do this when I am adding figures to my paintings. Instead of taking my camera out, I just put my brush down and try to draw the figure in my head and then pick up my brush and put the figure in my painting. The more I use my drawing and painting memory, the better it gets. You also get figures that have life in them and they fit into the plein air painting. The figure should be put in like everything else in the painting. It should be painted efficiently with only the necessary brush strokes to indicate accurate proportion and movement, but not so tight that you can peel it off of the canvas. A good example of this is "Morning Stroll". My husband calls the dog "Spot" because that is all it is but you know it is a dog. The figure has a few accurate brush strokes. It is not the amount of detail but the accuracy of the detail that is important.
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