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Figurative Art

Discover figurative art guidance and inspiration from master artists who share their experience and advice on drawing and painting portraits, self-portraits, and the figure.

See how contemporary artist and art professor Victor Wang creates a mixed media portrait that's layered with texture and meaning.
"These four paintings are great examples to show my love for fabric and bringing clothing to life," says Taha Clayton. "I feel my subjects are all artists in their own right, and all of these paintings have a strong fabric presence that allow the viewer a look into the model's personality."
How does one thank the surgeon who saved her artistic talent from a spine injury? Watercolor artist Jennifer Hunter shares the life-changing experience that helped her overcome fears, regain control of her arms, and return to painting.
The figurative work of Alessandro Tomassetti is about what it means to be male. The Canadian-born Italian artist does not pull any punches in presenting the rarely exposed sides of masculinity: vulnerability, sensitivity, and intimacy. These softer characteristics conventionally associated with the female form are juxtaposed against the physical appearance of his sitters, who often appear quintessentially masculine: strong, strapping, self-assured.
In this artist spotlight, Andrea Kemp explains how, for her, evolving as an artist brings new meaning to her figurative art, in creating a "wordless dialogue."
"I am fascinated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi; it is the view centered on the acceptance of transience and the imperfect," says Daniel Segrove. "This idea—to understand and find beauty in the imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent—is what helped shaped the artistic voice I have today."
“Rarely are the ethereal pictures by Odd Nerdrum easy to look at, yet they always draw us in, forcing us to marvel at the artist’s deft draftsmanship and lush brushwork, even as we try to work out exactly what’s happening here..."
When Dutch artist Francien Krieg was intrigued especially by a woman's white hair, she found a way to emphasize it in a 40 x 47-inch portrait painting, using perspective to make the head "monumental." Here's how.
“If you paint a human figure in the right way, you can paint anything,” says Russian master painter Nikolai Blokhin.
"I believe art has the power to move people and that the most effective, beautiful, and truthful way to do that is through realism."
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