I started the painting session today with a preliminary drawing. I wanted to step back a bit before working more on this figure painting and figure out exactly how the form of the body moves in space.

I’m having a lot of trouble with this figure drawing and I’m not really sure why. So I’m trying to use charcoal to plan the oil painting as we as figure out why I’m struggling.

Male Figure Painting: Session 5, Struggle, charcoal premilinary
Charcoal Preliminary

You can see in the head how I’m making a concerted effort to try and draw the planes of the head as they curve around in space. I’m trying to solidify the idea in my head so that when I pick up a paint brush I think of the same.

Male Figure Painting: Session 5, Struggle, charcoal setup
Charcoal setup
Male Figure Painting: Session 5, Struggle, detail

Unfortunately, I tend to lose myself in all the other properties of a paint stroke and forget about modeling the form. I look a the photo and think about color, value, edges and shape all at the same time.

Male Figure Painting: Session 5, Struggle, oil setup
Oil Setup

The result is that I’m getting too detailed with these paintings. I’m not able to simplify the form into manageable chunks. It’s going to be difficult to learn to simplify and take time.


  • Session: 1368
  • Work: 1171
  • Width: 11"
  • Height: 15"
  • Medium: Charcoal, Oil
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 2
  • Creative Time:



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Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."