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.

One of the most common characteristics of my work is the abstract background. I use it to give power to the subject and weight to the painting. Here’s how I do it—and why.
This week's featured painting is a watercolor by Burton Silverman, who has been exhibiting his work for 70 years.
Australian artist Vicki Sullivan shares her inspiration for three contemporary realism portrait paintings.
“My best paintings happen when the model is taking a break or even taking a nap,” the artist explains. “For me, it’s about capturing the human spirit, not just addressing the technical side of painting.” ~ Mary Qian
The informal nature of the tronie can provide an opportunity for expressing painterliness. Tronie is 16/17th-century Dutch for “face."
James Earley's oil painting "Syrian Shadows" is part of his series of work on "War and Conflict" and is a tribute to all those impacted by the war in Syria.
Watch as Eddie Filer explains how he starts an oil portrait painting, including the block-in stage, the brushes he uses, and ways of painting the head.
A PleinAir Salon winner explains her realistic self-portrait drawing, "Girl without a Pearl Earring."
Congratulations to Megan Whitfield, whose work has been recognized in the monthly PleinAir Salon. Here, she shares her inspiration, challenges, and advice.
On figure painting > "The mind likes to play with matter, animals are informed without written language."  ~ Cesar Santos
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