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.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

When Opportunity Knocks

Occasionally, on their way to somewhere else, models offer to drop in for a figure session. These encounters are often last minute and don't allow for anything too ambitious. As practice opportunities, however, I find them difficult to pass up.

Seated Nude Study, oil on canvas, 10 1/2" X 8 1/2", 2018



Thursday, June 7, 2018

Contact

Where my figurative painting is concerned too many false positives over the years have conditioned me to remain skeptical even in the face of apparent progress. To proclaim even a small victory in a public forum would be unimaginable. So let's keep this on the QT - I think I nailed this oil study.

Shoshanna, oil on canvas, 12" X 10", 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bearings

In early 2017 I returned to painting the figure after focusing exclusively on drawing for an extended period (see February 24, 2017 post).  I commented that it was going to take some time to regain my bearings. I never considered for a moment that over a year would pass before any tangible results would present themselves.

Male Nude Study, oil on canvas, 14" X 12", 2018



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Small Minds

Private sessions with a model are by necessity intimate occasions. They require a high degree of trust from both the model and the artist. Only the participants know the true nature of these encounters. Small minded outsiders often make uninformed critical judgments regarding these relationships. By doing so they only diminish themselves.

Back Pose, oil pastel on toned paper
8" X 6 1/2", 2018



Friday, May 11, 2018

Humility

In a recent post I said that todays figurative artists need to learn to walk again. By this I mean they must discard the crutch of secondary sources and work unaided from the live nude. This call to humility may have actually not gone far enough. Sometimes, when confronted with the subtleties of the human form, it might actually be necessary to crawl for awhile.

Nude Study, oil on panel mounted linen,
6 1/2" X 6 1/2", 2018



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Old Habits

I had some orthodontics done a couple of years ago to correct a long standing problem with my bite. I now wear a retainer at night. Without it my teeth would return to their natural positions.

We all have certain inborn tendencies. When painting my natural tendency is to work slowly and deliberately. This method can be effective with certain subjects but, where the figure is concerned, prosaic results are a more likely outcome. Live figurative work acts as a retainer keeping old habits at bay.

Figure Sketch,  oil on linen, 8" X 13", 2015 



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Healthy Sense of Urgency

I listened to an NPR program recently about a young woman who was taking over her family's bakery business. Her mother advised that given the time pressures and number of variables in a busy bakery one must work with a healthy sense of urgency.

A healthy sense of urgency. I can't come up with a better way to approach a live figure session. Who would have thought that baking bread and pastries would share something so fundamental with live figurative work?

Sarah W., oil pastel on toned paper
12" X 7 3/4", 2018