Exercise: Tonal figure study – another version (from the life class)


I decided to try a different version for the tonal figure study (my tutor has advised in feedback  that it is good to repeat any of the exercises). Although I was reasonably pleased with my other study, I felt the exercised was about studying flesh tones and my fully clothed husband wasn’t showing much flesh..This pencil sketch was done at the life drawing class in Somerset.


I am pleased with the pose and it reminds me a little of a Modigliani painting, maybe it is her long neck(!) so I have decided to try and paint from this sketch and the other sketches I did of the model that day, using my memory and also looking to Modigliani for an homage/ inspiration. His style is modern, with slightly elongated necks and faces. I will try to ‘draw with the brush’ working across the painting, as advised in feedback. As this exercise has already been completed I will aim to be bold with this version:-)


Modigliani ‘Nu couche’ source: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34775073

I used a brush and painted straight onto the white acrylic paper A3, using a flesh tone. I then built up layers of darker tones and started painting the blanket, in green, as I remember the blanket being green and I also like sap green. It is difficult not to just block in areas. It means having lots of colours out to mix at once. Once I got the green out I found I was just painting around the figure. I don’t think I am quite understanding what my tutor is asking me to do. However, with the flesh tones I was working on all of the figure. I kept in the shadows from the window that fell across the body in bars, as I thought it was a good, interesting feature.

So far: That shoulder not quite right and I have had to recreate the left arm that was hidden before in the sketch version, as it didn’t look right without it.image1-60

I fixed the shoulder and decided to put in a pillow and to make a definite blanket of the green, and I mixed an orange as a background. I also painted in a white sheet, to add interest and contrast.  I added some orange onto the pillow to balance out the colours.

I am happy with the result and pleased to have tried painting flesh tones. I should have worked out the background better, but I am happy with the figure and felt I worked well on it. It was good to produce some work on from the life class. I think the orange didn’t work so well; it is a bit too bright a hue and distracting from the figure, although it is a good complementary colour to the green and also I should have elevated under her legs as the position is not quite right for a flat blanket.





Author: Wendy Kate

Happily sharing my life in Spain with a tall bearded man from Dorset.

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