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Lana Seated, Walnut Ink on Paper, 9×6 ©Michelle Arnold Paine

This summer has been a wonderful summer for figurative art – both in my own work and in Boston! I have been regular attending a few figure drawing groups (Boston Figurative Art Center and Waltham Mills Artists’ Association)  and really enjoying the opportunity to engage with drawing the figure outside the classroom. I have been so busy the last couple of years teaching my figure drawing classes that I haven’t actually taken much opportunity to study/draw myself.

seated ink figure drawing Michelle Paine

Lana Seated Looking Left, Walnut Ink on Paper, 9×7 ©Michelle Arnold Paine

The human figure is the most challenging of drawing subjects: you can’t get away with having an eye even 1/2 inch out of place — no one notices if a tree branch or window is in the wrong spot! The human figure also has the greatest capacity for emotional and narrative artistic expression – there is story and personality behind all those proportions, and that is something beautiful (and impossible) to seek to capture.

Seated figure ink michelle paine

Seated, Walnut Ink on Paper, 9×6 ©Michelle Arnold Paine


In addition to my own figurative explorations, this summer there was a Student Exhibition at William Scott Gallery in Boston’s South End. They curated entries from art schools across New England and it was a really high quality collection of work (including one of my students).

The Boston Figurative Art Center is also gearing up for a Figure Show at William Scott Gallery this fall, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more figurative paintings highlighted in Boston’s art scene.

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