Adding figures to any painting will give it movement, depth and gives scale to the elements around the figures. When you are walking behind people, on fairly level ground, their heads will all cross the horizon line at some point, whether they are in the distance or close to you.
I drew in the horizon line and then the shape of the Mount. I then drew the walkway and then the figures. I used the carrot method to draw in the initial shapes of the people, to scale the shapes of the figures, a very simple way to simplify what can be a challenging process and then used those to make the detailed drawings of the figures. I drew in the shapes of the buildings and then I was ready to paint, the drawing took around three quarters of an hour.
I painted in the sky first, using a large brush and round brush strokes, and lifted off paint with a tissue to suggest clouds. I then had great fun mixing up a wide range of greens for the Mount, which I under painted with lemon yellow before applying my greens in glazes, working from my light greens through to the darker mixes. If you have a old palette with muddy colours on it, this makes a perfect vehicle for mixing greens, by adding yellow and blue in differing amounts to parts of your muddy palette. This is not a quick process, take you time and examine each mix you make, it is part of the fun of painting to make your own colours.
The sea and mud in the sea, under paint with a light wash of blue and whilst still wet, drop in some brown, red and green, and leave to mix on the paper.
For the walkway I wet the paper, under painted with a light orange and then took an old biro to impress shapes of stones into the paper, bearing in mind the perspective of those shapes. I then over painted with browns and blues and then added the cast shadows.
To get figures moving, A Very Good Idea, is to show the sole of a shoe. Slow walking figures are not vertical, they will be slightly diagonal, depending on what foot is lifted from the ground. If you make them vertical they will be standing still. Give figures some props, a bag, a walking stick, a rucksack: this all adds to the character of a figure.
This painting took around four hours to complete.