Drawing the human figure is one of the most coveted skills in art practice, and also one of the most challenging things to master. Maybe this is one of the reasons why figurative art has captured the imagination over the centuries, and remains wildly popular today, amongst both art-world people and those relatively unfamiliar with art history and art theory. Here are a few of my favourites from the Art2Arts’ online gallery.

Sarah painting by Stephen Quick
Sarah by Stephen Quick

“Sarah” by Devonian artist Stephen Quick uses texture, overlay and strong colour contrast to beautiful effect. The bold graphic lines reference Stephen’s usual pop-art style, while the background provides contrast with a softer, distressed style. The hearts accent the composition perfectly.

Now of my threescore years and ten, twenty will not come again. By Julian Rowe

“Now of my threescore years and ten, twenty will not come again” by Julian Rowe shows influence from both pre-Raphaelite and impressionist styles, and conveys a strong sense of longing and nostalgia. The white fluffy tree blossoms are particularly well-rendered with impasto technique.

Racers by Alice P Jenkins
Racers by Alice P Jenkins

In her piece entitled Racers, Alice P Jenkins uses an acute perspective to excellent effect. This snapshot style painting really captures the energy of the race, the beauty of the horses, and brings to mind Degas’ horse and rider drawings.

Inner Strength by Annabel Thornton
Inner Strength by Annabel Thornton

I’m going to have to mention Degas again, as Annabel Thornton’s beautifully simple Inner Strength does bring his ballerinas to mind. A dancer herself, Thornton has a reputation for her talent in capturing the sprit of dance and dancers.