Portrait & Figurative Art: How to Draw or Paint People & Figures

Mastering figurative art is no small feat, particularly when it comes to portrait art. Rendering the human form, in any medium, requires careful attention to proportions, scale, and familiarity with anatomy. Here we delve into must-know information on painting portraits, including how to draw people and how to draw portraits to moving beyond a sense of likeness to capture a figure’s essence.

Gesture drawing poses | Jon deMartin, ArtistsNetwork.com

Improve Your Figure—With Gesture Drawings

The practice of gesture drawing is an important part of understanding the figure and its ability to create interesting shapes from limitless motions. Jon deMartin, author of Drawing Atelier: The Figure, offers guidance on this in the following excerpt. Gesture Drawing: Finding the Gesture and Orienting Forms by Jon deMartin The figure’s line of...

james Weeks 1996 23x15.5_13, 2/17/15, 2:52 PM, 16C, 5556x7620 (235+379), 100%, Custom,  1/60 s, R51.7, G41.9, B57.9

Exhibition of the Month: Bay Area Figurative Drawings

One of the most important schools of 20th-century American figure drawing occurred in Northern California’s Bay Area in the 1950s and 1960s, and a new exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento, looks at the accomplished figurative drawings of these artists. “Back to Life: Bay Area Figurative Drawings” explores 40 works on paper by...


An Imaginary Realm | The Inventive Pastels of Jane Lewis

"The figures in Jane Lewis’ paintings," writes John Parks, "look out at us from a becalmed, strange and curiously timeless world. Rendered impeccably in subtly shifting tones and hues, the paintings present characters dressed in improbable costumes that seem to belong to a bygone, classical age.

Costa Vavagiakis

Oil Palettes for Landscapes and Figures

I experiment extensively with different brands of pigments in order to find the properties of each color that best suit my techniques. Because I paint in many layers, I have to be concerned with the drying properties of each pigment. I work with faster-drying colors in the beginning and then slower-drying ones for the...