The Female Figure – A Figure Drawing Series

June 3, 2020
Female Figure drawing of skateboard chick

I remember my first figure drawing class like it was yesterday. A college course where nude models came and sat for 2 hours at a time and we drew. Learning the body, understanding the structure and muscles, examining the light. I can still fill the anxiety in me as I waited that first day for the model to arrive. At 18 years old, I had never seen a man naked in real life and felt terrified to do so in public.

He walked in, in a robe and bare feet. Strutting straight to the center of the room where a stage was set up for him to sit down under the lights perfectly placed to create shadows across his body. As he stepped up onto his stage he dropped his robe and sat. I could feel the blood rush to me cheeks and my stomach turn and then everything settled. There was nothing erotic about this. Nothing that turned you on or brought anything sexual to light. I was a scientist studying a form, telling a story of the truths I saw through light and shadow.

I was a scientist studying a form, telling a story of the truths I saw through light and shadow.

The months would go on as I pursued figure drawing. Loving to learn more about the body. Having a place to go and examine how the muscles, skeleton, flesh, and fat sat together to create a figure. But it was through those months of studying and drawing that I found drawing the female body, the female story something that interested me more. There is a flow of curving lines that fall like poetry when you draw a woman’s body. The “S” and “C” shapes that fill a canvas.

While my college days have long passed, I miss the opportunities that came with having models and spaces to draw freely. But I’ve found a new series that has sparked the same intrigue as those first years of figure drawing. My “Girls in Hats” Series.

There isn’t anything jaw-droppingly deep about this series. Just an exercise that allows me to pursue portraiture and work on detail skills while also finding myself in the women I portray. None of them are me and yet I feel as if all of them are a persona of me. The woman I want to be; Fierce, strong, beautiful. The women we all want to be.

I feel as if all of them are a persona of me. The woman I want to be; Fierce, strong, beautiful. The women we all want to be.

As a white, athletic woman you’ll notice that the women I’ve depicted thus far are like me. This has no other reason other than the fact that I can more easily see myself in them than I can in types of women. However, in light of all the stories I continue to read about that continue to influence me, I feel that this is changing. I’m more able to see myself in all women, even when the color of our skin or the size of our clothes are different. Maybe as this series continues to bloom, my identity in other races and sizes will also bloom. In the end, I’ll simply see my persona as a woman, without limitation.

Until then, here is where the series is at.

To see more works of art or to purchase prints of these drawings and more you can find them in my shop.

Audrey Hepburn in Charade

Female figure drawing of Girl a in Hat

Female figure drawing of a cowgirl and horse

Black woman putting flower in her hair

Classic Female Figure Drawing portrait

Girl in hat holding hair graphite drawing

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