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Painting process of "Standing Nude"

Around May 2022, I started working on a new canvas, again with the motive of a female nude. However, contrary to paintings from the "Female figure" Series, which I painted in the summer of 2021, my intention for this canvas was to make the figure to be somewhat naturalistic, rather than abstract and expressive. The main challenge for the painting was mainly the drawing of the figure, which I had to correct a lot.

I wanted the figure to be anatomically sensible since when you paint in a fine and thorough manner, there is no way to deform a figure. Every line and contour is therefore clear for the viewer to see. If the drawing of the figure is, let's say, out of proportion or a little bit anatomically "off", the viewer will notice it instantly. Even when the viewer might not be an art advocate, he can still recognize that there´s something is off about the figure in certain paintings. The reason for this is that our eyes and psychological mind are so used to seeing, and recognizing human form, that even a minute disproportion on the body can be noticed.

With this in mind, I have spent 2 months on this painting to get the proportion, volume, and shape of the body to be just right. This was much more of a challenge for me since I worked on this canvas without a model. Most of the painting was painted from fantasy, or for lack of a better word, from lots and lots of correcting and repainting.

At the time, I was also studying quite a lot of Matisse´s paintings. There was one painting in particular interested me and I have taken it as orientation for my own work:

And so it began...


The painting started with a lying pose, but the whole painting was painted in this expressive, deformed manner and so I wasn´t satisfied with the result.


At this stage, I continued to paint in lying pose, which I took reference from one live nude drawing ( on the wall to the right ). I made 2 versions of this lying pose, but the bigger canvas on the floor is the canvas that will become "Standing Nude".


On the following day, I gave up the lying pose and tried a standing pose instead, but just showed half of the figure´s body.


I repainted the pose as a full-body standing pose.


I was struggling for days to get the whole body onto this frame but it didn´t work and I always ended up painting the legs too short.


I actually turned the canvas upside down and redrawn everything from scratch here. It turned out to be better.


Tried to add more details to the body and changed the color scheme of the whole painting. But everything seemed to be disconnected and incoherent in the composition. The color palette worked fine though.


At this stage, I decided to reduce the details to make the composition clearer.

And add on some details again...


Made the composition cleaner and painted the weird green light away from the head.


I decided to reduce the forms to be more simple by using larger strokes and brighter colors. Then something special happened. I knew at this moment that I was going to finish the painting soon. There is often such a moment in painting. When you know, you know ;)


Refined everything. Painted the red shape on the right side away.


I painted the light on her body a bit brighter and the painting was finished after 2 months.



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