Category Archives: Figure Studies

The Nude in Watercolour

Alexis Jenni Coral Meredith

Just some experiments with watercolour. From sessions at the Norfolk Drawing Group.

Burlesque night

Porcelain poses with work from our first session.

It was burlesque night at the Norfolk Drawing Group Tuesday night. Porcelain is a North Carolina performer, and she traveled to Virginia to work with us again.

I should have worked faster. I really needed to work on this piece for another hour. My non-traditional approach to figure studies usually works for me or it can work against me. I obviously should have finished the hand, but I trust that I’ll work with her again. My next piece will be better. I would love to paint her one day.

Show and Tell


I just wanted to announce that I entered two shows recently. I submitted three entries for The Virginia Artists show, which is sponsored by the Hampton Arts League. It was a last minute decision, so I entered several figure studies. The figure study of Meredith was one of the entries. I really like this study and I hope all three pieces will get into the show.

I also paid my entry fee for the White Tail annual Nude art show. I’ll be selling work there on June 4th and 5th. The event is in Ivor, VA. Figure studies will be for sale at this event and I’m displaying new work. This is a good time for anyone to let me know if they’re interested in purchasing a study. Some of my best studies are heading to Ivor in June.

One day… three models.

I’ll eventually post some work that isn’t a figure study. I work with a lot of models, so I’m trying not to drown this blog in figure studies. I’m also planning to participate in a Nude Art show in June, so there’s a good chance that you’ll see nothing but figure studies for awhile.

If you want to feel like a professor, proctor a college art exam. I did just that yesterday for a Drawing 3 class. It’s really just an excuse to work with models for free. Their final exam consisted of drawing two models together. Working with two models is always difficult. There’s a lot of perspective to workout, and in my case, I work too slow. I have to admit that I was forced to layout both figures first somewhat, and then I added my delicate details. Which might explain why the contrast is so low for the overall piece. I believe I captured enough information for viewers to figure out what’s going on. Any comments or critiques?

I wasn’t too impressed with my work form the Drawing group session. I must have used all my creative energy during the day. It felt good to work with three models though. I’m going to conquer anatomy drawing with my unconventional techniques one day.

One day… two models.

I have to say that I’m really consistent about working with live models. It’s to the point where I prefer to deal with live people instead of photo references. I had the opportunity to work with two models yesterday. I sat in on a local college Drawing class earlier in the day, and the next model was at the Norfolk Drawing Group. I’m a regular at the group, and I’ve noticed that my art has improved because of these sessions.

Reclining poses are one of the hardest poses to work on. It’s even harder to deal with when you’re work with contour lines, and then you block in the shapes and shadows. Most art teachers would scold me for the way I approach the figure. Instead of sketching out the whole body, I usually start with details first. Working my way down from the head to the feet. There’s not too much room for error with this technique. I visually measure where everything should be, and my knowledge of general perspective allows me to do so correctly most of the time.

My current medium of choice for sketching models are Prismacolor pencils. You can create a lot of detail if you keep the pencils sharp. I’m working on Canson Toned Pastel paper which actually has a smooth side and a heavy texture side. The smooth side is great for sketching and if you work light enough, it’s even possible to erase mistakes. I’ll usually go back over any light line work. I typically never blend the Prismacolor pencils. Things tend to get messy, and I like controlled gradients in my work.

Ok. This is what happens when I spend way too much time on the model’s head. I really strive to capture the likeness of each model. That fact alone can slow me down at times. Even with a long pose. Certain aspects of his head wasn’t looking right, and I’m still not happy with the final results. I probably spent 30 minutes trying to get a decent likeness, and I constructed the rest of the body in about ten minutes. I’m really upset that I didn’t get a chance to add more details. The lighting on the model looked really good.

I’m planning to sketch two models together next week, and then it’s time for a special long pose with a burlesque dancer in the evening.