Matisse Nudes

The cut-outs are one of my favourite things. They are so simplistic in colour, style and appearance, when actually, they are extremely complex due to the process of learning about the figure and shape of the human body in order to understand it. It is phenomenal to then end up with these abstract outcomes that are saturated with knowledge and creativity.

(from Left) Small Torso, 1929. Bronze, height: 9cm. Small Thin Torso, 1929. Bronze, height: 7.8cm. Forms. White Torso and Blue Torso (Jazz), 1944. Stencil. p10-11

The link between the cut-outs and sculpture is strong, and with these images, you are able to see the almost literal translation. It makes you wonder which had more of an influence. Was is the cut-outs that informed the sculpture, or the sculpture that informed the cut-outs? With the cut-outs themselves, it is quite nice to see the use of both the positive and negative space. (This method could also be used to produce prints)

With these images, you can see clearly the journey of constantly going back over a design; re-positioning and redrawing the same image in order to get the final result. It looks as though the contortion is being subject to an experiment. Trying to see what the body can do that looks unreal, almost unbelievable.

Blue Nude IV, 1952. Gouache cut-outs, 102.9 x 76.8cm. Musee Matisse, Nice.


I love all of the Blue Nudes, but this one particularly stood out to me because you can still see the pencil marks underneath the final cut-out. These pieces always look very instinctive so it is interesting to be able to see the planning that went into the final image, and how the appearance altered over time as it was worked on.





Standing Blue Nude, 1952. Stencil



The construction of the figures intrigues me because each body is divided up into separate pieces. ‘Standing Blue Nude‘ shows a very simple divide of body parts; the legs are separate, the torso and head are attached but separate from the arms. However, other examples show even more dissection. Layers are built up, overlapped and placed next to each other to reconstruct the new blue figure.


All images from this blog post were sourced from –

Néret, G. (2006). Henri Matisse: Cut-outs. USA: Taschen.


Matisse Nudes

Stacey Mitchell

Stacey Mitchell

I stumbled across artist Stacey Mitchell by chance on instagram. I was glad i did! In and amongst the incredible paintings i discovered a whole section devoted to ‘the bum’. This, of course, interested me.

The paintings are very interesting as they vary in outfits. They range from fully clothed to being in their underwear. I liked this because it was looking at the bum in a ‘normal’ setting (if you can call it that?). I don’t know if they were posed or painted from a secondary source; but they felt realistic with no motive, other than to paint what is seen.

You can see her instagram feed here!


Reference (all images) –

Mitchell, S. (c2016). Thebaskerville. Retrieved 27 March, 2016, from

Stacey Mitchell

Initial Ideas – where to start

I have been trying to find out why i want to do this project, so i can create a question i can answer for my dissertation. I want to do a monograph where i reflect upon my own practice as well as carrying out primary research. This will allow all of my work to link together and allow my research to be more opinion orientated. (I like facts, but they aren’t as interesting as what people think are they?)

These are my initial thoughts of areas i could explore:

  • How can shape be manipulated?
  • Movement – how this impacts the appearance.
  • Age – how does shape alter over time?
  • Look at objects that look like bums
  • Men and Women – differences and similarities
  • The impact of clothes
  • Historical fashion and the bum
  • Staged photos and natural photos (action)
  • Other peoples’ interpretations of the shapes of bums
  • Why do i smooth out the lines when i am not tracing?
  • How many shapes are there?
  • How can shape be interpreted?
  • How does perspective alter the appearance?
  • Use the Bum Jug as a starting/focus point
  • Skeletal structure
  • photograph my own bum everyday in what i am wearing
  • ‘Does my bum look good in this?’ – ask people to wear what they think shows off their bum.
  • Life drawing – understand the human form
  • Why do i like bums?
  • What is the preferred shape?
  • What makes you a bum person?
  • Why do people like bums?
  • Why are we so intrigued with the human body? And why do i focus on bums?

In time i will narrow down where my interests lie as i go on with my drawings and bits of research.

Initial Ideas – where to start

Watching a drawing grow and preferring the first stage

fine liner

I used my favourites of the traced bums images once again and overlapped them with each other. I wanted to be able to create a lot of movement through i kind of ‘collage’ effect.

acrylic paint

I then used acrylic paint in 4 colours (i mixed some together to get different tones and shades) to highlight each section. I was inspired by cubism for this drawing  which is why i chose to divide up overlapping sections.

outlined again

I am quite pleased with the end result but i really prefer the very beginning sketch. I don’t really know why either which is the annoying thing! I presume it is because it is cleaner and the lines are harsher, but i don’t know why i prefer that over the finished result.

Watching a drawing grow and preferring the first stage

Jamie Frost – Lie Of The Land

Jamie Frost a figurative artist that produces drawings, as well as sculptures. I have only seen two of  his small scale sculptures, but it is his drawings that have me spell bound! They are incredible both in scale and with detail. He manages to keep your eye moving continuously throughout viewing one piece of his work.

silent disco
Silent Disco 2014, archival ink pen on paper.

The grey-scale pieces are remarkable and the depth that is created; you could reach out and touch the subject and it be a real person.

Interestingly, the artist draws the initial shape of the form using charcoal, applying it as a base to work up from. This creates shadow and an outline to work to. Ink fine writers are then used to create the detailed marks. The marks are applied in long fine lines that echo the contours of the body; built up in layers and worked into to create dense areas.

It would be interesting to see what the figure would look like as just charcoal, and just as the fine writer marks.




Nothing to declare
Nothing to Declare 2015, archival ink pen and watercolour on paper

This piece had me flummoxed  for ages as up close i thought ‘that is a lot of paper for just two hands based at the bottom’. It was only when i stood back, i realised there was actually the rest of the figure on the paper as well.

It is done so subtly and delicately that you fail to notice at first. The wash background allows you to focus even more on the hands as the shading draws your eyes down to the points where the drawing seems to come to life.

This was one of my favourites at the exhibition.





falling woman-filtered
Falling Woman 2015, archival ink pen on paper.

This was one of the largest pieces in the exhibition. You cannot get a sense of scale from this image, but it was huge! You would have thought the detail would look ridiculous because you would have to scale it up, but actually it was perfect. It was dense enough to build areas of colour that looked like the contours of the skin and faint enough in areas where it faded out to much paler sections.

Whilst looking at some of the other pieces of work in the exhibition, i overheard the artist talking to a lady about his process. One of which was, for the colour drawings, when he is ready to start using his ink fine writers, he always begins with orange. I presume this would be because it is one of the paler colours, so he can build upon it with the rest of the colours, whilst also being able to see the basic outline of the figure much clearer.

Another area of interest for me is, you are always being told to not draw outlines when you are drawing from still life. You have to build everything up from shadow, applying layers. Whereas Jamie Frost does actually draw an outline. It is very fine and the colours change gradually depending on how the shadows are cast over certain areas. It is obvious that a lot of time was spent on this section (as well as for the rest).

These pieces of work are some of my favourite pieces of artwork i have seen in a long time!


Reference (all images) –

Frost, J. (c2015). Jamie Frost_Figurative Fine Art. Retrieved 27 March, 2016, from

Jamie Frost – Lie Of The Land

Stacey Baker – Citilegs

This project is called ‘Citilegs’. I first stumbled across the project on instagram. The way the photographs were set up really interested me because they are all taken from the torso down. You don’t see anybodies faces, but they all still have personality. I’m not really sure what the aim of this project is, i just think it is fab!


@stace_a_lace – Stacey Baker


It is one of those feeds that you just find yourself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I cannot stop looking at it! I find it fascinating the varieties of shapes women are. There are some fantastically shaped women in this project!


@stace_a_lace – Stacey Baker


This project stood out for me because it is something i could explore when looking at bums. The set up is really simple but it works. Having a plain but interesting background enables you to focus on the subject in the middle of the photo.


@stace_a_lace – Stacey Baker

References (all images) –

Baker, S. (c2016). Stace_a_lace. Retrieved 27 March, 2016, from

Stacey Baker – Citilegs