Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to the Figure

Now that summer is past, I started painting the figure again from a live model. It's a great workout and the best way to study how light falls on the form, while transforming that information onto a 2-dimensional surface...
Green Mantle (20x16)

Of course this is for study and exercise and not necessarily intended to be a "finished" work -- that's why I don't bother with unnecessary details like finessing the eyes and mouth, etc.  By sticking to the confines of a 3-hour time limit, you're forced to work quickly and spontaneously to capture only the basic information. This simple approach makes for a fresher, livelier image that retains more movement than a highly rendered one. 

Model at Rest (16x20)

For that, it would take another session or two, but this way lends itself to more potential for "happy accidents" (things you didn't necessarily intend, but sometimes occur when working quickly that benefit the overall picture)... Another benefit to painting studies, is the absence of investment -- I usually use cheap store-bought canvases or quick-coated masonite panels with a slight raw umber stain to kill the white (as you can see in the top example surrounding the image)... 

Mostly I enjoy doing these because it develops instinctual skills thru repetition that carry over to finished pieces, eventually training you to get those spontaneous strokes that make for a better picture.  Of course that said, I have a lot of studying to do!


  1. Hi Eric, excellent job. I enjoy the way you described your technic and approach. I'll keep in mind and plan to try to do similar experience at my painting classes, best regards, Emilio (from Brazil)

  2. I like your colors and strokes in your model at rest. Very nice and a great way to train the eye.

  3. Really like the light and the fresh strokes Eric.

  4. Des nuances de couleurs magnifiques...
    Je vous félicite votre travail est admirable...
    Une très belle lumière vient caresser votre sujet.
    gros bisous

  5. love these painting of that beauutiful model...wonderful work as always!