Tag Archives: nude

Sometimes you just have to be drastic.

I finished this lady some weeks ago, and liked her very much, but I was never happy with her head. It’s too big overall and her facial features are just too heavy and masculine. 2017-06-06_07-29-14

I tried various alterations but never satisfactory. Hard to match the pastel finish in any case. So I went back to basics, and painted out her face with gesso, to start all over again.

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That gave a good drawing surface, but that doesn’t guarantee a good drawing. Try as l might, the face still eludes me.

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So extreme measures called for. I’ve finally decapitated the poor girl and will try all over again. Not sure how it will work. I was tempted to paint a brown paper bag over her head, but that seems a shame. Maybe a Modigliani mask? We shall see.

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She is done

I think she is wonderful. It is the contrast of her completely modern body against that fabulous backdrop of egyptian hieroglyphics that always catches my eye. This is what ancient Egyptians must have actually looked like. How Klimt got away with her flaunting herself like this on the main staircase into the new Royal gallery I don’t know. The Viennese were so messed up about propriety and sexuality. I can see why Freud had so much fun getting old Wienerins to talk smut to him. It’s an endlessly fascinating city. 

Two attempts at Eve

I saw a stunning statue of Eve by Thomas Brock, in the Tate Britain gallery last week. One of those beautiful Victorian nudes that were deemed “acceptable ” because they were supposedly biblical or mythical. 

Edouard Manet slapped that hypocrisy in the face with Olympia, who was just a naked woman. But Eve is beautiful. I have tried two pastel studies of her, neither of which I am satisfied with, but they are getting there. In theory she is pure white. In reality, nothing is pure white. 

Life class

Another Tuesday life class and a female model at last. We were working in coloured pastels, which is my current medium, so I was pleased.

First a four short warm up poses, trying to establish the basic forms as quickly as possible.

Then two long poses, about half an hour each. I tried out the linear, non-blended style, which is tricky with a body, but I still like the vividness of the colours. It would work better on coloured paper.

Finally, four very quick poses of just five minutes each. These can often work out well. No linear stripes, they take time.

So all in all, ten drawings in three hours, which is not bad going.

Four colour lino block 

As an experiment (I am very new to this medium) I have tried to print my girl on the dockside in four colours. I have also tried using acrylic paint mixed with a print medium as ink. Not that great really. I think proper ink is probably better. 


First, I cut a new block which simply had the figure cut out completely, so I could print colour where the water and dock were. I printed in two ways. On the right, I printed yellow acrylic over the whole block. When dry, I covered the dock area and inked the water only in blue acrylic and printed it over the yellow. Very dark, greenish outcome as the acrylic is very transparent. On the left, I have printed yellow ochre ink just over the dock, and then the blue acrylic over white paper at the top. 


Then I inked up the body /shadow block with two colours of ink. You have to resist the urge to roll from side to side, which would spoil the effect. 


Adding the body looks quite good on both, but the dark water doesn’t give the feel of a hot sunny day that I want. 


Finally the line block added. I like the results, but not sure it’s an improvement over the original simpler two colour block. That really looked hot.