Drawn to Figurative Art

Carmen Tyrrell Talks to us about why she enjoys painting and drawing the human form, and what inspires her to create her beautiful figurative artworks.

Carmen Tyrrell's Background

Profile photo of Carmen Tyrell 


I cannot tell why Figurative drawing/painting is so important to me, I just FEEL IT and I am passionate about it. I think, generally I am interested in people and I like their company.

I was born and educated in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Since an early age I remember drawing people from my mind based of books I read and people I saw around me.
As a teenager I started to develop my interest in art and I decided to study Fine-Art.
I finished 3 years in a School of Art and 4 years in The Academy of Fine Art.

Academic Study & Life Drawing

We worked only from direct observation and measurement of proportions for any subject or composition. My favourite subject was always Figurative, Life Drawing from life models, and Compositions with groups of people from our mind.
During those Academic years, in our Life Drawing sessions, we were asked to complete 10 minute quick sketches of drawing from direct observation. These were good exercises for eye-hand coordination and warm-up for further developed processes of works, as the study for portraits or the study for figures. Self-portrait was very often one of the subjects for training.

How I Create my Figurative Artwork

To me, working from direct observation is the most rewarding feeling where my works are loose and spontaneous.
For many years now I work mainly from my mind only occasionally I use supportive material which I may need for certain subjects. Sometimes I am inspired by images which I happen to see and I record them in my mind or on spare pieces of paper.
I am not aware of any artists that have inspired me. All I know is that I was always interested in visual art and loved to visit art museums and study books about famous artists, also the history of art fascinated me always.
I use to make sketches of drawings by famous artist such as: Altdorfer, Durer, Rembrandt, Gauguin, Picasso and many others.
The artists I greatly admire are: Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Picasso, Egon Schiele,
Lucian Freud ,Francis Bacon, Kathe Kollowitz and Paula Rego.

What is Inspiring about Figurative Artwork

I am interested in all Figurative subjects: figures, portraits and compositions with people. My Figurative art reflects my deep interest and fascination in the human body in different postures and attitudes. I like to create powerful and expressive works. I am always looking for interesting compositions, light and shade, colours and tonalities, textures, using a diversity of media and techniques.
I find Human Body/ Female Forms very interesting and complex. Each new work is a challenge to me in finding and expressing something new and exciting.
Creating a Series of Artwork
Occasionally I create series of paintings and drawings, as a challenge. The series  “Curves” for instance, has 24 different works, based on the same posture, and I still feel that I can go further. Twenty pieces of this series have been sold and can be found in private collections worldwide.

Subjects for Figurative Painting

The main subjects of my Figurative works are “Female Nudes” and “Lovers”.
I create my works to carry the message of artistic beauty, harmony and happiness.
I equally like to draw and paint using all media, but I love charcoal for drawing.
Some of my artist friends use to say that my charcoal drawings remind them of Kathe Kollowitz, this how I discovered her.
Prior to my academic study I worked in an impressionistic style, today I am more interested in simplification, finding the meaning and essence of the subject.
I am passionate about my work and I like to impress the viewer each time.
I hope that my feelings transmit themselves to the people who look at my works.


By Carmen Tyrrell
View Carment Tyrrell's Art Gallery