“Bad” FIGURE Painting Compositions

What is a “bad” figure painting? This video shows a broad range of figurative paintings, and the opinions of several artists as to why the artworks are effective or not.

The opinion of each artist on the figure composition then stimulates a discussion on why a specific figure painting is successful or not. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Alex Rowe and Cat Huang.

Video Walkthrough

  • Contemporary artists who want to “relive” the Renaissance today
  • Artists create artwork as a reaction to events happening in their time
  • How much does technical skill matter in a figure painting?
  • Contextualizing figures into an environment in painting
  • Keeping references to time periods consistent within a painting
  • Hercules & Omphale
  • Symbolism of objects in Renaissance paintings.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

When you’ve worked out the composition, have a good grip on the color scheme, at the thumbnail sketch stage, this really lets you focus on the other challenges that occur at the final artwork stage.

If you’re struggling with the composition on the final artwork, it’s so frustrating, as it takes a lot of backtracking, fixing, etc. All that stuff is easy to fix in a thumbnail, but can very time consuming and tough to do on the final artwork.

It may not seem like it at first, but thumbnails make your work flow quite efficient!

Artists Mentioned