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.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Moving Target

I once read about a student complaining to a teacher during a figure painting class that upon returning form a break the model had moved. The teacher advised the student to "change your painting". While the finished product is stationary the process of working from life in any extended pose involves a moving target. This state of flux is a large part of what makes live sessions so compelling.

In my experience good models can hold really still for about thirty minutes - sometimes longer if the pose isn't too stressful. At some point models and artists need to take breaks. Frequent breaks are best so body parts don't get stressed. Returning to pose things are almost never the same. This is particularly pronounced in multi-day sittings. During a live session you have to be willing to make adjustments in real time.

Nude Study, (day one), oil on canvas, 11" X 10", 2013

Day two

For the above painting I was setting up my pallet when the model got in pose for a second sitting. She captured the original pose but it was obvious her head and top hand were different. She looked very natural and comfortable so rather than try to recreate the original pose I decided to paint it the new way. I can't really say the second pose is better but I like the natural slump of her chin on her hand.

Usually pose shifts aren't so dramatic but sometimes even subtle differences can necessitate making significant changes.

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