Life Drawing to Painting ex.3+4

With these next experiments I wanted to try painting from drawings of new mediums and experiment more with painting more instinctually.


Charcoal drawing from life, 20 mins.

I picked this drawing because of the tonal detail I made and the notes of colour written on the body, making a pretty comprehensive drawing to paint from. By chance, I also liked the way the body faced away from space on the right of the paper and so chose to keep that in the composition of the painting.


What worked well 

I used a palette knife to apply a light blue layer at the end to the background. I chose blue because its opposite the warm orangy-nudes on the colour wheel and I wanted to see what that looked like. Using a palette knife meant the underpainting still shows through which works well to add depth to the piece. This is a similar technique to one Denis Sarazhin with his backgrounds and I can now see why it works well. It directs the eyes towards the body and provides a contrasting texture to the brushstrokes.

The way the face is cut off at the nose. The viewer is given no clues as to the emotion of the person since they cannot read their eyes. So again, the viewer has to read the body to find narrative.

What didn’t work 

The pose of the man: Not dynamic, doesn’t provide a narrative. Too much of a life drawing pose for the piece to be anything more than a technical experiment.


Oil pastel sketch from life.

This drawing is very successful in it’s right. Since the eyes are shown in the piece our direction is focused on the expression, and the rest of the body just supports the narrative of the face – the slumping of the shoulders.

The vibrant colours and texture of oil pastels made me question whether this piece could be translated in to something any better.


What worked well

Cool, dark brown palette knife background. Contrasting texture and silhouettes the figure well.

Brush size and colour palette.

Less focus on face since I reduced the contrast of the his features so move the focus to the body. This works well for the purpose of these experiments – to capture narrative with the body.

What didn’t work 

If the body filled less of the paper? And there was more black? Just an idea. But the figure takes up most of the paper, which makes the piece very painterly, but a nice narrative could work if this figure was placed amongst more dark space or an interior.

Overall and what next?

I now want to branch into painting from sketches with more intention than just technique. I want my next drawings to be of people in bed, so that I can start applying what I have learnt with these paintings to my concept for this body of work.

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