Although in recent years much of my work has been focused on the landscape, I've always been fascinated by the human form. Portraits and nudes were my earliest inspirations and much of my study in art school at Lamar University revolved around life drawing classes.
Although I've continued to draw and paint portraits over the years, I haven't done any nudes in quite awhile. Recently I've been feeling the pull towards figurative work again and even started making it to the life drawing sessions at The Art Studio in Beaumont to get back into practice.
This is the charcoal drawing for a painting I'm starting of my friend and favorite model. She has amazing spiral curls of red hair and a beautiful, statuesque figure. She used to model at the studio back when I was in college and I must have done dozens if not hundreds of drawings of her back then. Seems fitting that she's the inspiration for my return to the figure. I'm planning to play up some deep red and purple hues throughout this painting to accentuate her hair.
Originally I left out the dresser in the background but really wanted to include the framed nude drawing she has so I added it later. I didn't really care for it at first so I gessoed it out, but then decided the composition needed it so I drew it back in again, although I moved it a bit to the left this time. I also moved the drawing from the left to the right side of the dresser which seems to give a nice counter balance to the weight of the dark headboard and pillows on the bed.
I'm pretty pleased with the drawing as a whole now and have toned the canvas so its ready to start painting when I get back from my weekend trip.
This canvas is 24" x 48" and will be the largest oil painting of a figure I've done in at least a decade. With me luck!