October Figure Painting

Figure oil painting - Helen Davison

‘Figure VII’. Oil on linen, 70cm x 50cm. 2013

Figure oil painting - Helen Davison


I’m so pleased to be back at Sarum Studio for a couple of weeks. The structure and interaction with other artists on a daily basis really suits me. This is my figure painting from the first week.

Knowing this was just a week long pose, I was suitably spurred on to progress quickly. I kept the paint fairly brushy, and thought a lot about turning the form with edges, bringing the figure out from the background, and maintaining a sense of luminosity across the areas of the body turned directly to the light.

This was a difficult pose for the model to maintain, so there was quite a lot of change in the position of several key areas. There’s no point in constantly chasing the pose, so once I was happy with the articulation of an area, I stuck with it; using my knowledge of form to work into each area from memory.

I didn’t give as much attention to the legs as I did the upper body and portrait, and I don’t think the positioning of the foreground knee quite works. It probably only requires a few small changes through the lower leg to the foot to make the difference required, although I don’t think I will pursue these changes. Instead, this is another figure study for my portfolio – one that I am largely pleased with, and one that I hope is starting to reinforce a painting style that is increasingly becoming a comfortable way of working for me.