By subtly adding a slight suggestion of shadow, I have implemented the solid background into creating floor and wallspace to allow the body to become a 3-dimensional form. I have worked closely will purple tones within the body to create stark contrast between body and background and further push the feeling of the two being almost seperate paintings.

I have been particularly interested iun how the body curves creates a bow, arcing around the contrast, which not only is important as a composition, but suggests there is a weight to his body, hanging him downwards and heightening the feeling of succeptibility


Alan McGowan

In the same way Graham, Crowley uses single toned backgrounds in order to create a spatial relationship between object and space, McGowan makes this prevalent in his own life studies. However, where this singular tone is used in my own work to give a sense of weight, and spatial relationship to the figure, McGowan’ use of background is used to give weightlessness to the body, only to be ‘brought back down to earth’ by the weighted drops of paint dripping down the canvas.

Through thick, viscous brushstrokes we see a contrast against the solid, flat background that pushes the figure forward and creates a distinction between body asnd space. With relation to my own work, I am particularly interested in how the brushstrokes are used to enforce this sense of space, with curving brushstrokes used in order to almost ‘sculpt’ a hip or push out the underside of a breast, whilst the use of pinks and blue contrasting  not only go further to pushing parts forward and backward, extend on the sense of vulnerability and frailty seen in the human figure.


In this painting I am focused about how the legs reinforce the sense of a flat plane and sense of direction in the images. The leg in the foreground is far larger than that within the background, further creating a sense of perspective, that on such a scaloe would give suggestion that the figure is far larger than what it is, or that we are actually smaller or very up close. I have chose an almost flourescent yellow, to evoke a sense of alarm or discontentment within the viewer, whilst the colour could be suggested to look almost like a urine yellow. By positioning the legs in such a manner, they allow the viewer’s eye to flow around the page, whilst keeping that awkward sense of space against the body in the top corner, which was also present in my previous “Blue” painting


By taking the square painting up to a larger scale, I feel that I have asserted the body’s emphasis within the room and thus making its presence stronger. By making the foot life size, I am conveying the illusion of it protruding out when compared to the rest of the form. 13128882_10202061132326616_521051596_o

The swooping brushstrokes pushed around the body force the eye into sculpting the body, whilst with this thick application of paint give a stark contrast to the flat background on which its set upon, almost looking like a combination of two different artists. I am pleased with the pose, which although comes across as erotic, gives light to a different approach of the male form, on that looks withdrawn and powerless. I’m intrigued to how the composition awkwardly fits the canvas, with all the body situated within the pose, but has ample space in it, giving suggestion that we are looking through a window at the unknowing subject, something I wish to carry on further in my paintings.

Solid Background

By taking what I have learnt from utilising the 2 tone images, and those of using solid backgrounds, I have pushed the illusion of the flat body occupying space by 2 techniques. Through being inspired by the works of Olga Davenport and Graham Crowley, where the use of one solid flat colour has been moulded in order to create space, by firstly exaggerating the form, such as within the legs, it creates the illusion of depth from the protruding foot, which combined with the shadow allows the body itself to push the space around it, opposite to the standard concept of a body’s position being subject to the space around it.

13148173_10202061131966607_608057362_oSuch as Caillebotte usesthe weight of an arm or feet to give a sense of vulnerability, I have used this – such as with the clenching of the foot, or the tilted head – in order to allow the figure to look withdrawn and weak, whilst also dispaying the legs spead to make the explicit nature of the pose natural.

Graham Crowley

With regards to referencing the human form’s relationship to the spatial plane that encompasses it, I have been particularly inspired by the use of tones as seen in landscape artist Graham Crowley. Through applying the use of shadow and perspective over the same single tone of colour, it is in fact the landscape that dictates the spatial relationship within the painting, as opposed to the space that suggests where the viewer ius. Although the same tone of yellow can be seen in the top, center and bottom of the painting, the viewer’s eye enforced to see the areas as seperate objects, creating a foreground, middle and background.

Within my own paintings, I wish to utilise this sense of depth in the portrait by emphasising the use of shadow and forced perspective to create a relationship between the space of the body and ground, whilst also keeping the ambiguity of the scale of the form that was present in the previous series.

Life Drawing Sessions

As well as using a sketchbook in order to keep my application of line and tone consistent in my work, I find that regular life drawings are paramount to what I intend to create in my artwork. Once I have completed a painting, I go back to sketchbook work to see how this affects my drawing practice, and through these sketches I then approach my paintings and see how I can suggest an arm, or define a back with these results. Many of my paintings are composed disjunctured parts of the body, taking inspiration from my life drawing sessions with Barry, painting my more slender, frailer looking body in the mirror, and inspiration from other artists suggestion of the body.