Category Archives: Nudes/ Figure Drawings

Figure Sculpture Workshop…

This March, I attended a figure sculpting workshop with sculptor Jim Lee hosted by Urban Arts OC, a studio in Newport Beach.

A couple years ago, I took a portrait sculpting workshop with Jim and found him to be a great instructor.

During this workshop, we had a model pose for us throughout the day as Jim guided us through measuring with calipers to keep our sculpture in scale, pointed out and described the anatomical reference points and structures, and helped us avoid the pitfalls of the porcelain clay medium.

I’m pleased with how my work turned out, and it should be ready to fire in May.

Once the work is fired, assuming it doesn’t crack in half, I plan to paint it as a polychrome work in naturalistic colors, preserving and slightly altering the model’s tattoos to add some conceptual layers and subtle social commentary to the work.

I’ll post another photo when I’m finished.

Progress on “The Fates” triptych…

First of three panels in oils made by Adam Townsend for a planned triptych screen.
First of three panels in oils made by Adam Townsend for a planned triptych screen.

Back in the summer of 2015, we refurbished the floors in our apartment with beautiful, dark composite hardwood.

The problem was, I ordered 125 square feet too many, and the distributor was going to charge me to take it back.

That’s when I came up with a vague idea to craft it into a mythology-inspired triptych with models in various motifs from history and world folklore and religion. All three panels would have female nudes reminiscent of the three Fates in Greek myths or the Norns of Norse legend.

This second panel is called "Hanuman and Kumbhakarna Play Bluegrass." Progress as of 1/24/2018. By Adam Maxwell Townsend
This second panel is called “Hanuman and Kumbhakarna Play Bluegrass.” Progress as of 1/24/2018. By Adam Maxwell Townsend

Now I’m about two-thirds done with the second panel and have detailed construction plans for a hinged set of frames. The piece will stand on its own some 7 feet high as a screen, backed with velvet. In other words, though I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out, it has become a baroque monstrosity fit only for an expensive brothel.

Luckily, I never expected anyone to buy it for the price I would demand, given the labor, so it will be an excellent show-piece to take around to art shows and garner clients.

This is a drawing/photo that maps out the design of the second panel, "Kumbhakarna and Hanuman Sing Bluegrass"
This is a drawing/photo that maps out the design of the second panel, “Kumbhakarna and Hanuman Sing Bluegrass”

I did my first sketch of a model I liked from the figure drawing sessions in October of 2015, then crafted my first approximately 6’X3’ arch-topped panel with glue and tacks.

First, I tried to use the traditional Renaissance method of gridding the original drawing and then scaling it up, square by square. Unfortunately, even though this results in an accurate copy, it loses something undefinable about the original. Plus, I painted it directly on the wood, which was not an ideal surface for oils.

I scotched that effort and wrapped canvas around the panel – a much better surface. Then, I used a light projector to project a copy of the original drawing on the canvas to trace, which allowed the drawing to retain its original vitality.

These are blueprints I set up to guide me in building my planned triptych, for which one panel is finished.
These are blueprints I set up to guide me in building my planned triptych, which is currently about half finished.

It took me about a year to finish, off and on, and it’s titled “Vanna and the Celestial Jukebox”

For the second painting, I was inspired by my May, 2016 trip to Bali, Indonesia with my wife. In the spirit of cultural mashup, I depicted two Hindu demigods/characters from the epic The Ramayana playing a banjo and a fiddle as the woman in the foreground looks to the stars beneath a sacred banyan tree.

For this one, I found a nude photograph I liked. Some other models at the art supply studio sessions were great, but didn’t work for this project. Also, considering I don’t have a proper studio, I didn’t want to be that guy who puts an ad on Craigslist to hire a chick to come get naked in his garage.

The third panel is built, but I haven’t yet designed the image. I’ll need to finish the second and stretch the canvas for the third while I work out my ideas in my sketchbook.

First of three panels in oils made by Adam Townsend
First of three panels in oils made by Adam Townsend

Stay tuned for further updates! I’ll post progress photos as I complete the work.

 

 

 

 

Preliminary Studies for Nudes Series

Preliminary sketches for a series of life-size nude paintings. By Adam Maxwell Townsend
Preliminary sketches for a series of life-size nude paintings. By Adam Maxwell Townsend

Sometimes the decision to create comes from the materials at hand.

In this case, I have about 125 square feet of extra dark, hardwood flooring left over from redoing my apartment. I can’t seem to get rid of it, so I’m going to assemble it into a series of surfaces for a series of life-sized nudes.

I’m going to let the wood grain show through in the background, and I’m going to be using gold leaf for certain elements.

Once each figure is done, I’ll be applying a coat of clear varnish, and then using a wash to add a patina, so the image looks ancient. Very iconographic. My inspiration for this approach comes from these early Christian portraits from Alexandria.

I’ll post them as I complete them. Right now, I’m assembling sketches during the figure drawing sessions at San Clemente Art Supply held every Wednesday.

I’m drawing the initial sketches in an 11″X14″ notebook, which I will then expand to life-size on the panel using the grid method.

For sale at the Holiday RAWk 2014 show…

Some of Adam Maxwell Townsend's paintings, pastels and prints for sale at the 2014 Holidsay RAWk show.
Some of Adam Maxwell Townsend’s paintings, pastels and prints for sale at the 2014 Holidsay RAWk show.

I’m getting all my materials prepared for the Holiday RAWk 2014 art show in Costa Mesa Dec. 14; a great chance to clear out my inventory in preparation for making more intricate and exciting paintings and illustrations.

I’m going to have 600 square feet of wall space, and I’m going to use every last bit to display my artwork and hopefully sell some; it’s been stacking up in my garage and it’s itching to be out in the world.

Most exciting to me are the 10 prints of my painting “Pirate Story” I’ll have for sale. This is one of my most popular works (the original is already sold) and it has been featured in FIND art magazine and gallery. The prints are all full-sized 15”X20” with an additional border, signed and numbered. These are the first 10 of a limited run of 250, and one of them can be yours for $125.

Also available at the show are some 5”x7” greeting/notecards I had printed up featuring my “Day” and “Night” nature illustrations featuring West Coast wildlife. For only $5 a piece, these are great as original Christmas cards, or just to have handy for birthdays or thank-you notes.

I’ve also raided my stash of original pastel nudes, five of which I’ll have on sale with prices ranging from $75 to $125.

My original work will be a little pricier; I spent dozens of hours on each painting and illustration and, well, you’re gonna pay for quality.  For example, “Jazz #5” and “Harem Painting” I’ll be selling for $2,500 and $2,000, respectively.

The “Pursuits of Man” pair are on sale for $1,000 each, or $1,800 for both (they kind of go together — shouldn’t be seperated.)

Remember, don’t forget to visit my profile on the RAW art collective website and purchase your ticket for $15 – buy it here.

See all the other artists, photographers, musicians and fashion designers I’ll be showing with here.