My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones...

When my sister-in-law was a medical student, my brother would help her memory retention for anatomy by singing, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.

I do a similar visual lesson for my life class students.  To illustrate the importance of working from the nude, I begin with the model fully clothed.  As such, everything below the neck and above the knee is guesswork.  The all-important linkages to the torso are hidden from view. 

As the model removes her garments, the beautiful construction of the human form is realised.  The spine traces an invaluable line from head to thighs, the navel can be seen as a central point of reference and the breasts, no longer constricted, reveal their masterly rhythmic curvature.  

These reflections on the essential study of the nude came about through leafing through past exam papers for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate in the Visual Arts.  Option “A” reads:

“Candidates are required to draw a reclining, clothed human figure…the figure must be partially draped with a sheet leaving the head, feet and at least one arm exposed.”

If a student had submitted the drawing shown in today’s picture, he or she would very likely have failed.  Although my sketch titled Black Madonna is partially draped, as per instructions, too much of her God-given beauty is revealed to the eye of the examiner!   

The sketch dates from 1997 is included in my retrospective print portfolio.  

1 comment:

  1. You look at nudity in such a different way. I like that about you. Our body shapes are as different as our personalities.