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.

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 placements issues and fell to the eraser. It would be easy to call the 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


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

Saturday, June 3, 2017


In order to produce solid figurative drawings it is important to work with confidence. Timid hesitant lines don't play well. Problems can arise when a confident working method leads to arrogance regarding ones broader artistic abilities. At various times in my life I have entertained the idea that I'm pretty good at this art thing. Drawing from the live figure has always let me know that there is ample room for improvement.

Female Nude, oil pastel, 9" X 5", 2014

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Old Enough

I have long expected that my best female nudes will happen when I reach an age where the inherent sexuality of the female form ceases to be a bother. I'm still waiting.

Standing Nude, oil pastel, 13" X 8", 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017


While an art student in college I was approached by a gentleman with an offer of a summer job drawing tourist portraits at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. He must have been scouting art programs and seen something in my figurative work that would be suitable to that task. My recollection of the exchange is fuzzy but without much thought I turned him down. Should I have regrets regarding that hasty decision?

Livia, oil pastel, 13" X 11", 2017

I certainly passed up a life broadening experience and a fun resume entry. Doing scores of quick studies would have left me with an efficient working method regarding portraiture. Therein lies the problem - to this day I shun formulaic approaches to art. Somehow, I am quite content stumbling and feeling my way through each new drawing.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Pinup Nude

Having focused on the figure for a number of years I feel comfortable calling myself a student of the art nude. The broad category encompasses a multitude of subjects and intents. One category, however, dominates the genre. I will generalize and call it the "pinup nude". These pictures always depict an idealized female model posed seductively with the intent of eliciting a sexual response in a male viewer.

Seated Nude, oil on linen, 20" X 16", 2012

I have no objection to pinup nudes. Many excellent artist/illustrators have specialized in them. From a feminist perspective a legitimate argument can be made that they objectify and unrealistically portray the female form.

Viewing my body of figurative work it is clear that I am not drawn to this style of nude. My personal favorites include a variety of body types of both sexes. What I'm striving for when approaching a nude (or any painting for that matter) is simple honesty.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hobby Artist Revisited

Awhile back I revealed that I had begun referring to myself as a "hobby" artist as opposed to a "professional" artist (see October 6th and 16th, 2016 posts). The main reason for doing so was to simplify the tax paperwork involved in the enterprise of keeping a studio and selling art. My main takeaway was that labels were of little importance. But now I have decided on a more fitting designation.

Seated Nude, oil pastel, 8 1/2" X 8", 2011

Henceforth I shall answer to "student" artist. More than any title this captures my true circumstances both past and present. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting I earned in 1976 was the beginning, not the end of my studies.