Bums from Sculpture – Family of Man

I had another wonderful trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) where i took the opportunity to draw from Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Family of Man’, but from the back so i could try and work out where their bums were. I feel like these sculptures are old friends so it was lovely to be able to spend the day with them!

I completed the sketch whilst at the park, and once home, i worked back into them digitally. I began by locating where i thought their bum would go, and then made a simple frame to highlight the key areas that show the structure of the bum. This was extremely helpful because it was actually quite difficult to see what shape the bum actually was. With the frame in place, i was able to apply the shape of the bum to the sculpture, in a much more human form, bringing it back from the abstract.

It was interesting to see the finished sketch on the sculpture, as it made it look quite odd and even more abstract (which i quite liked!); however, for the final images, i removed the sculpture sketch to see what shapes i had come up with. See below:

(For any of you savvy Barbara Hepworth fans, i only have 8 drawings even though there are 9 sculptures. This was because i got this idea after i had drawn the front of one sculpture, and then forgot to draw the back. Hence why it is not included. oops!)


Bums from Sculpture – Family of Man

Tate Liverpool – Matisse Bronze and Painting

I knew Matisse through his famous cut-outs, and had paid close attention to his paintings; however, i never knew he did large bronze sculptures! This exhibition at Tate Liverpool (Matisse in Focus) was a very welcome surprise and i loved it!

Whilst there, i took to my sketchbook and pencils by drawing from observation, picking out only bum related pieces of work (obviously). I always forget how satisfying and peaceful it is to draw in a gallery space. There is something very freeing about it (especially as it makes you feel like a real artist!).

From the observational drawings i completed whilst at the gallery, i went on to redraw the sculptures and painting to see how the shapes would change and alter. Proportions are not my strong point, so i also traced over the digital images of the works to create a more expressive version of my drawings. This is definitely a technique i will be taking forward, as it also helped me to understand how the colour layers are built up as the drawing grows.






Tate Liverpool – Matisse Bronze and Painting

Liz Wilson

I stumbled across these works by Liz Wilson on my reader. I loved them as soon as i saw them. Apparently they were created using the ‘Paper’ app that you can get on your ipad. I thought they were incredible and as the titles state, made me immediately think of Matisse.

matisse-like nude
1. Liz Wilson (Wilson, 2015)

The way the app joins up the sections that are being drawn is interesting because it creates big block sections, yet still allows the shape to be visible and take centre stage. The transparency of each section is wonderful as well, because it allows shapes underneath to be seen also.

2. Liz Wilson (Wilson, 2015)

I love every single one of these drawings and i really like that they are digital because it shows off a similar technique to that of Matisse’s in a different light. It shows how diverse it can be.

Each of the drawings show a very curvy subject with rounded hips. This shape is very flattering and feminine. Interestingly, the harshness of the straight lines from the individual shapes works well with the curves and make them more obvious.

just another nude
3. Liz Wilson (Wilson, 2015)



This image is quite different to the others as there are solid blocks of colour, but this one has a simple outline to add extra pieces of detail. It is very simplistic, yet so effective. My favourite bit of this is the solid white block in the centre. I like the way the coloured sections frame this piece.





References –

  1. Wilson, L. (2015, 20th May). Matisse-like Nude. [Weblog]. Retrieved 27 March 2016, from https://lizstrongwilsondesign.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/matisse-like-nude/
  2. Wilson, L. (2015, 20th May). More Matisse-like Nude. [Weblog]. Retrieved 27 March 2016, from https://lizstrongwilsondesign.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/more-matisse-like-nudes/
  3. Wilson, L. (2015, 20th June). Just Another Nude. [Weblog]. Retrieved 27 March 2016, from https://lizstrongwilsondesign.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/just-another-nude/
Liz Wilson

More Matisse (because you can never have too much Matisse)

I wanted to focus a bit more on Matisses other works as it is not something i have really looked at. His cut-outs are what have really made an impression on me, but i feel his creative style in other areas of his practice are really underrated.


Another male nude!! (I don’t just want to focus on woman, but find it difficult to find male subjects. I’m not just being weird. Ha!) Although in black and white, due to the printing colours of the book, the work still remains very expressive. It could appear a bit block-ish in terms of how the colours blend together, but if you blur your eyes, they blend seamlessly. It is a very impressive skill!





This piece is from the front view of the subject, but i really liked the style in which this piece was created. The lines are very simplistic, but accentuate the curves and shape, by nipping in the waist quite severely to reveal the full figure of the model.







All images from this blog post were sourced from –

Spurling, H. (1998). The Unknown Matisse, A life of Henri Matisse, Volume One: 1869-1908. United States of America: Hamish Hamilton Ltd.

More Matisse (because you can never have too much Matisse)

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 https://www.instagram.com/thebaskerville/

Stacey Mitchell

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 http://www.jamiefrost.com/jamie_frost/home_.html

Jamie Frost – Lie Of The Land