This crowd of people were all at break time at a sports event. A sea of people in the background of a scene is a useful tool to weave a few key characters together in the foreground of a crowd scene.

Another way to make the eye of the viewer move easily over a crowd scene is to pick a few characters that you can bind together in other ways. One way is the use of shadows which are very evident in this sunny evening event. Another way to bind them together is to cast their face in the direction of another one of the foreground characters, which I believe is clearly evident in my painting. The girl on the left is clearly looking at the taller person to her left. This then makes for a story in a painting, so one skill leads very nicely into another area of painterly thought.

There is also movement in this scene, not only of the crowd milling around the refreshment stands, but the flags flapping in the breeze above the crowd.

When I paint a distant crowd I use a set of colours to create a patchwork of suggested heads and then a few vertical (or nearly vertical) lines to suggest the lower part of a body.

So out of this sea of people, who are all looking forward to the second half of this sporting event, there are only a few main characters.

A great fun painting to engage in, this was a classroom exercise I set on the last day of term in July that learners will be completing over the summer holiday.