I painted three plates today, all involving multiple figures. I realized at the end of the day that I was losing patience with painting 1-3 figure compositions and it became clear that I’ll be changing my format very soon. The figures have been slowly shrinking with each composition over the last five plates, so it makes sense for me to increase the number of figures and to switch the plate to a horizontal composition. I knew a ways back that I wanted to eventually build towards wider, more populated compositions, but a the time that I started this monotype technique multiple figures felt overwhelming because I was still sorting through the technical issues.
Multiple figures is exciting because of the potential to significantly expand the sense of space in the composition, yet at the same time it presents its own set of problems. Currently, the one that I’m most aware of is how to establish a visual relationship between the figures so that they do not fragment within the composition. In today’s plates, I used a very thin watercolor brush to create extremely light and fine lines to connect all of the figures. It seems like in the horizontal compositions those lines will start to play a more significant role.