The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog starts in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to just add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from the live model.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Year Four

August 9th marked the fourth anniversary of this blog. Counting the two years I kept a private art diary that totals six years of introspection regarding the figure. From the beginning, the point was to verbalize my working methods and intentions with the hope of making at least some incremental progress.

Reclining Nude, oil pastel, 9" X 11", 2014

For the last year or so my desire to scrutinize the intricacies of live figurative work has been waining. I'm more interested in just looking and reacting. It follows that the content of this blog will evolve to reflect this new reality.



Friday, August 4, 2017

Thirty Minutes

A large percentage of the drawings appearing on this blog are from the local figure drawing group I have attended for the last seven years. Each session includes some warm ups followed by progressively longer poses with thirty minutes being the longest. Undoubtedly, some attendees would prefer more extended poses while others find fifteen minutes sufficient. A half hour has proven a good compromise.

Thirty Minute Standing Nude,
oil pastel on toned paper,
9 1/2" X 5", 2012

A thirty minute time limit forces one to work deliberately and with an appropriate sense of urgency. It is important to reinforce this working cadence. One can easily fall into bad habits given too much time.


Friday, July 21, 2017

The Pose

My favorite poses are usually the simplest ones. An extended arm and subtle twist - what more could an artist want.

Female Nude, oil pastel on toned paper
11" X 9", 2017


Monday, July 10, 2017

Nuance

This figure study has avoided my discard pile multiple times. I like the strong shadow. But it is the bent finger of the upper hand that keeps it in my collection. I had a long comfortable working relationship with the model. She was a professional. Starting the drawing I could be confident of her being aware of and holding this subtle nuance.


Nude Withe Shadow, oil pastel on toned paper, 9" X 9", 2012



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Influences

Other than one assignment in a beginning painting class in college I haven't copied other artists work. As a learning tool I can see the value of copying. There is a market for "copy artists" doing reproductions of famous paintings. But duplicating others work for knowledge or profit has never appealed to me.

Still Life, oil on linen, 14" X 11", 2001

Just because I don't copy other artists doesn't mean I'm not influenced by them. Sometime after completing the above painting I started affectionately calling it "my Chardin" in reference to the eighteenth century French painter. There is no tangible basis for making this connection. I wasn't referencing or thinking of Chardin while painting it. For me there is just some mystical link. Over the years I have sensed the subconscious influences of many artist in my work.

Jean-Baptiste-Simon Chardin
Goblet,Apples,Pear and Two Bottles, 1750


Friday, June 23, 2017

Wasted Time

I made three separate starts at this figure study. The first failed attempt involved poor paper selection. The second try had page placement issues and fell to the eraser. It would be easy to call forty minutes of false starts wasted time. But any drawing or painting is ultimately the sum of the entire process that led to its creation. This drawing would not exist without the early miscues.

Standing Male Nude, oil pastel, 14" X 9", 2017


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Drawing

Like almost everyone I started drawing as a young child. By second grade I was aware of an ability and have been at it ever since (see December 10th, 2013 post). Too many artists abandon drawing as they graduate to painting or other art forms. I have found keeping a drawing regimen and even focusing exclusively on the discipline periodically to be very helpful and rewarding.

Female Nude Study, oil pastel on toned paper
10 1/2"  X 7 1/2", 2017