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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A New Paradigm

The best figure sessions are collaborations between an artist and a model. In private sessions I almost always dictate broad pose concepts with the model adding their own unique twist within that framework. What happens when a model is also a figurative artist with strong personal visions?

Nude Study, oil pastel on toned paper
11" X 6 1/2", 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Learning to Walk

There are probably more talented realist painters working today than at any time in history. In spite of this something fundamental is wrong with the genre. Contemporary realism, while often technically impressive, has lost touch with reality. Reliance on secondary imagery as source material is largely to blame. Another culprit is artist/teachers claiming the undeserved mantle of grand master and passing limited and even misleading lessons onto unsuspecting students.

Nude, oil pastel on toned paper, 11" X 9". 2017

For realism to gain and deserve any relevance in our modern world, artists must face the humbling challenges of real subjects in real environments. They must drop delusions of grander and learn to walk again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I have never quantified how frequently I need draw from the live figure to attain and then keep a sufficient level of competence. I do know that my skill level seems to rise in conjunction with the amount of effort I expend engaged with the model.

Figure Studies, oil pastel on toned paper, 8" X 12", 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Working Without a Net

Early in a recent long pose figure session an artist approached the model and was given permission to take a photo of the pose. While this was happening, I was still making composition and proportion decisions. As this artist took his picture, I thought how different my state of mind would be if I had a photograph to fall back on.

All live figure sessions involve the pressure of time constraints. This urgency of the moment is an essential element in giving life to a picture. There is nothing like working without a net to stay focused on the task at hand.

Figure Study, oil pastel, 10 1/2' X 7", 2018