Paintings from last night’s figure studio

I had never met last night’s model, Emily, before, but I loved her from the start — her gestures were so elegant and playful.

Two gestures

Two gestures (1-2 minutes each)

Since we had so much fun with Signe and her clothes last week, Signe had suggested to Emily that she also bring clothes to pose with. This made me very happy. I love being able to add extra color to the sketches.

Green chair, red shoes

Green chair, red shoes (20 minutes)

I notice that the more figure painting I do, the more I improve organically. It’s just a matter of training the eye; after a while, I start to notice things I wouldn’t have been sharp enough to notice a few weeks ago. Like the grey shadows on the white shirt. They’re not very precise shadows, but I’m not sure I would have thought to put them in if I’d been painting this outfit a month ago.

What's out there

What's out there (25 minutes)

To see all eight images from the evening, start here.

Do you remember a while back, when I mentioned I wanted to start a new painting project that would be about body image and self-presentation? These recent sketches of Emily, and the ones last week of Signe, are approaching the level of detail and emotion I want for that project. They’re still small, about 17″ x 14″ — what I wanted for the project was life-size, but I’m thinking that might not be possible with watercolor — but they are giving me great hope that I’ll be able to start the project sooner than I anticipated. I’ll tell you more about it when I get closer to launch!