The human figure is generally considered the most difficult things to paint and draw. Many representational artists study anatomy as a scientist or doctor might, and it has been a practice used for centuries. A couple of months ago I was doing a LOT of drawing and anatomy sketching and decided one day I just could not pick up the pencil one more time. Paint won’t let me ignore it for very long- it gets impatient, jealous even! So that eventually, I’m obliged to indulge it.
So I sat down and did two quick figure studies in paint. It felt so easy and so natural after all that drawing. Maybe I should remember to make paint wait every so often….
*Reference photos courtesy of the amazing New Masters Academy image library!
I just moved (from LA to the San Francisco area) and boy did that slow down my art-making! It’s not a good excuse but it happens to me every time. As a way to make painting seem fun and manageable after the emotional and physical ordeal that is moving, I pulled out a little series of masters studies that I started ages ago.
The best things about this project:
-I already started it (there was less to do)
-They are tiny (and seem less scary)
-As masters studies they don’t require a high degree of creativity
-The excitement of looking at Masters to choose from is highly motivating
-As a selection of different artists, the project allows me to switch rapidly between styles (which keeps me excited)
And it worked! I feel enthused about finding my own style and growing as an artist. And I’m excited to visit new galleries and meet the local artists I might learn from!
Here’s my little master’s study sampling project so far (Masters: Sargent, Liepke, Sargent, Burdick, Anderson, and Zorn) I still need to add that little Sargent face on the upper left. Compositionally this was a weird way to lay it out, but I have a better idea of how to handle that next time. And the important thing is… I painted!