Escha van den Bogerd is a painter from Holland whose work combines both the female figure and abstract elements.
Her paintings of nudes (semi-nudes, really) use an emotional, abstract background to set off the figure itself.
Luminaria, seen below, is one example.
Van den Bogerd created points of extreme high and low values, placing the figure right between them to emphasize a sense of emotion and movement even though the woman is lying still.
As the name suggests, however, this painting is dominated by the mass of glowing, golden light, and is less about the figure than the effect of the lighting itself.
Riposo2 is, I think, much more successful at establishing the woman as the main subject of the painting.
A sense of loss and sadness are beautifully depicted in the way the woman is sitting, as she hides her face with a hand.
Notice van der Bogerd using a smoother application of the paint for the woman’s legs. I’d love to see that same sculptural quality in the rest of her paintings as well, letting the figures themselves come forward more, away from the textural background.
Of course, when painting nudes there’s always a fine line between the provocative and the merely sensual. In my opinion, these two paintings are excellent examples of the latter.
I don’t think all of her paintings achieve that goal, but then again that’s probably part of their appeal.
To see more of Escha van den Bogerd’s nude paintings (and some floral abstractions as well) take a look at her website.
Finally, my "big project" is finished! It’s been a crazy day with a lot going on, but foliotwist.com is finally live and online! Since I’ve kept it a complete secret up until launch, here’s a quick (mostly visual) overview of what it does. . .read more
American painter Mary Cassatt was born in 1844 in Pennsylvania; she went on to become one of the most prominent female painters in the Impressionist art movement. It was a time when there weren’t even that many woman painters at all (painting wasn't necessarily "ladylike"), and Mary Cassatt st. . . read more
Zhaoming Wu is an incredibly talented Chinese oil painter who was recently brought to my attention over at Greg Kapka's daily painting blog. Greg has a good eye for great art, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed when I visited Wu's website. His work immediately reminded me of another Chinese . . . read more
In the following soft pastel demonstration I'll be taking you through my process for painting the female figure. I hope you enjoy it! My supplies: I used a double sheet of Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper, in a warm grey colour. (I prefer to work on the smooth side, but I know many pastelists wh. . . read more
This week's featured artist is Jonathan Matthews, a talented Alabama artist whose beautiful figurative paintings offer a subtle homage to the long history and tradition of figure painting. As you'll notice in one of the paintings farther down, Jonathan's use of lighting brings to mind Rembrand. . . read more
Subscribe to EmptyEasel's free weekly newsletter for artists. Sign up today!