The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 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 add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Friday, December 7, 2018


In previous posts I have mentioned my tendency to revert to old bad habits when painting the figure. Often it is only in hindsight that problems reveal themselves. To check this inclination I installed a long shelf on a prominent wall in the studio. On it I line up paintings as they are completed. Now I can see in real time when I start to drift off course.

Figure studies, oil on canvas or linen, September - November 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Step Away

Where my art is concerned I have an inclination to work through rough patches. There comes a point, however, when simply working harder trying to force results becomes counterproductive. Sometimes an afternoon at the library is a better option than a session at the easel.

Portrait Study, oil pastel, 8" X 6", 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Value, the light and dark kind, is central to any work of art. The basic concepts regarding value are simple but achieving a satisfactory range and balance between lights and darks can prove complex.

Reclining Nude, oil on linen, 19" X 27", 2013

Thursday, November 8, 2018

No Substitute

Depicting the human form in any meaningful way requires working from an actual live model in a real environment. There is no surrogate capable of capturing the intensity inherent in a live figure session.

Male Nude, oil pastel, 7" X 9", 2012

Monday, October 29, 2018

Where was I?

I recently came across this drawing from six years ago. I remember it being primarily a value experiment. That it succeeds on some level is surprising considering I didn't fully understand what was happening at the time.

Standing Nude, oil pastel on toned paper
14" X 9", 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2018


After years of painting the nude in oils I have begun seeing results that approach my expectations. One might think I would feel a sense of accomplishment, maybe even of having arrived. Instead, I feel lost - utterly lost.

Nude, oil on canvas, 18" X 14", 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Body Art

I have drawn and painted scores of models over the years. Early on it was rare to see tattoos. Now body art is quite common. Surface designs add a level of complexity to rendering the figure and my default habit has been to ignore them. I am just starting to key into how important these markers can be in capturing a model's true self.

Wayne, oil pastel on toned paper, 9" X 8 1/2", 2018