Project 1 – Exercise 2: Linear Figure Study

For the first study I used the chosen pose from Ex1 and went after preparing my support straight into drawing with paint. I continued with further elaboration of the shapes and form of the figure and decided as contrasting element a looser approach for the negative space. I decided for a off center composition to emphasise the bending body and an inner perspective. The paper roll in the background to repeat the pose of the oblique back. With that compositions I believe the painting would get a more contemporary ‘touch’.

Final painting – Study #1:

Acrylic paint on acrylic paper 360 g/sqm (48 x 36 cm)

Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - Study 1

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – Study 1

Work in progress

  • I started with a middle tone prepared paper mixed with out of orange and blue and a bit black.
  • Measuring shapes and angles of my life model and outlining the main shapes, adjusting where needed
  • Blocking in with pre mixed acrylic colour and being careful to keep linear qualities
  • Blocking in key shapes from surrounding space in the studio.
  • Applying with sponge texture for the floor
Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - Study 1 - progress

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – Study 1 – progress

Overall  I am pleased with the composition, proportions and relationships. Perhaps I went too far concerning the scope of the exercise as I worked more on the human figure. I could possibly be looser on relying on simple shapes only and not too fiddle too much around details on the figure. I am wondering how much of painterly execution is needed to achieve a desired visual effect and meaningful image (derived from image 1 above mentioned progress series)

Therefore I decided to make a second study – trying to work in another approach and using the spatula more as I started to work with in part 2. I chose another pose of my model  – still related to study #1 as a narrative theme. I am taking some reference here from Euan Uglow Nude Lying down with arm across chest’, 1967 and some works by William Coldstream.

Final painting – Study #2:

Acrylic paint on acrylic paper 360 g/sqm (48 x 36 cm)

Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - Study 2

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – Study 2

Work in progress:

  • Starting with unprimed acrylic paper outlining main shapes of the human figure and negative shapes.
  • Adding lines for chair and window blinds.
  • Blocking in with pre mixed acrylic colour and being careful to keep linear qualities
  • Additive and subtractive painiting with spatula to obtain linear qualities texture for the floor
Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - Study 2 - progress

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – Study 2 – progress


I like the effects I achieved with less control. The incidental white spots do add some drama to the overall picture. The chair is a bit too small compared with the figure – what leads to a larger figure. The initial outlines are slightly lost and I am wondering if the first image in the above progress series is not already given a meaningful image. In latter stages I think I use the same approach with spatula too much on both walls and floor and even the figure – perhaps being more restrictive with applied textures and approaches could be more successful?


Overall I really enjoyed this exercise. In Ex1 I still was more in a drawing mode and now I understand better to work more in paint in the first place. By that I would avoid that the painting is becoming a coloured drawing. Although a bit beyond the scope of this exercise I was positively surprised how much I can get a resemblance to the actual model and mood with scrutiny and consciously applied strokes. I got a sense how far a painting can go when tonal values are being combined with line (as I did not bother that much about tonal values with above two studies)


  • Working directly with paint instead of starting with a drawn image helps to have a looser painterly style.
  • Getting overall accurate shapes and proportions helps tremendously to work further – even more expressively. It is harder to correct at later stage.
  • With the two studies I get a better feeling on interior in combination with human presence. I can sense that this could be much more investigated.
  • These studies made me more aware of my embodied painting approach – with a slightly distorted view compared to a camera view (distant viewpoint) as my head was turning up and down and sideways with my painting position fixed in front of my easel. By that I surveyed the space around me not flat but arch-like or sphere like.

Next time:

  • Less is more, simplifying linear drawing in paint and contrasting with a stronger relationship with the negative space.
  • Avoiding a common painting approach to several areas of the painting when texture and intention would require perhaps a wider variety.

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