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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Foreshortening

I have previously mentioned how much I enjoy foreshortened angles. In group settings most models position their poses to appeal to the main working center of the room. For me a full reclining pose often feels too elongated and spread out. So, I tend to seek out head or foot views. I like the inherent compactness and difficulty level these angles offer.

Reclining Nude, oil pastel on toned paper, 7 1/2" X 11 1/2", 2012

When confronted with a foreshortened pose beginning art students often elongate the figure. They are working from their preconceptions of what the figure looks like. You have to suspend these notions and trust what the pose actually offers you. My mantra has long been draw what is actually there, draw what you see.

Reclining Nude, oil pastel, 7" X 10", 2013

I have seen elaborate mechanical setups designed to aid artists in rendering the foreshortened figure. They often involve a grid superimposed over the model to orient body parts in their proper places. Such methods can be useful learning tools but ultimately there is a lot of intuition involved. You have to exaggerate the foreground and diminish the figure as it recedes in space. I don't have any hard rules regarding foreshortening, when it works it just "feels" right.

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