I am looking for a softer approach to my painting and so I am testing different techniques. In this nude study the paper was very wet when I applied the watercolour pigment. The fact it spread like crazy is exactly why I love this medium.
I think I have mentioned it before, I need a life drawing sketch or watercolour nude every Monday. My life drawing session that I run every Thursday needs to be publicised. The classes are turning out to be popular especially for those who live in smaller towns around Sweden. Covid-19 ended my physical classes last March but streaming via Zoom has turned out to be a very positive development.
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Click the thumbnail to see the complete watercolour
I have this little routine were I produce a watercolour nude each Monday morning to help promote my weekly life drawing session. I play around with how I express myself – I really enjoy it so I will continue with my Monday nudes. At the same time I really need to start painting landscapes again. Maybe I’m waking up from my winter slumber? I hope so.
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I continue to paint nudes. I need a promotional image once a week to promote my life drawing class, this motivates me to have a watercolour complete by Monday.
I think I am going to try a different approach to my painting technique from now on, I feel I have been having too much fun with the background and not focusing enough on painting the actual figure. So the next watercolour nude you see here might be quite different, we shall see 😉
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Why a sudden interest in painting nudes David? I guess it’s because it’s where I’m at at the moment. I am running my life drawing classes and I feel inspired because it is now and in the present. Landscapes have to wait, it’s too cold outside and I find little inspiration from my reference photos. I would love to paint outdoors even when it’s minus degrees but I’m not 100% fit so it’s not a good idea right now, the long winters here don’t agree with me. So it’s nudes at the moment. I hope you don’t mind.
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It’s true, I don’t paint male models as much as female ones. It’s just a preference. I enjoy the female form more, I like to draw the curves, a sketch is soft and smooth. Male models are more angular, more shapes and bumps to capture. Difficult when you only have a few minutes to capture the pose. Nothing wrong with male models, it’s just my preference.
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I have no wish to compete with photographic images. When I paint a nude from a photo as in this case I want to find my own way of expressing the feelings I have towards the subject. If I just tried to copy the image on my computer screen it would be just so uninteresting and also demoralising because the original photograph will always be best. I know there are super-realists out there who would disagree with me. There is no wrongs or rights, for me it’s just a personal quest to find a form of expression.
Reclining nude 36 x 26 cm
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I am the first to admit that I have been uncomfortable when confronted by nudity. I grew up in Catholic Ireland and at the same time I was very exposed to the culture of England which was and still is so anchored to Victorianism. I’d better be careful here, I don’t want to get political. I just think it’s a pity we have been made to feel so ill at ease in appreciating the naked being.
Thankfully, I moved to Sweden. That was 31 years ago so I have had time to adapt to what I still feel is a refreshing attitude towards nudity. It’s such a pity we feel embarrassed by something that is so natural.
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My life drawing classes, which are live-streamed on Zoom begin again this week. I don’t actually get much time to sketch during the sessions as I am the organiser of the event. I’ll have to join someone else’s life class to practise. Ironic, I know.
Because I don’t sketch the nude as much I’d like to I set myself a weekly goal of producing a watercolour that I can later use to promote my life drawing classes.
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If you would like to see the full-sized image please click the thumbnail below