The painting Latissimus Dorsi came about as a result of a sketch that I liked. When I sit down for my regular drawing practice, I’ll often use nudes that I find online. Because I’m using these images as inspiration and not copying them slavishly, I figure it’s fair use of someone else’s images.

Here’s the image I used as a reference, with the original version and a Photoshop-tweaked version which I use as a reference for lights and darks.

This is the sketch, whose extreme simplicity really appealed to me. Nevertheless, I had in mind a painting where I would take that simple line drawing and make it more solid, with a three-dimensional light-and-shadow approach.

I was able to keep a lot of energy in the roughed-in first stage of the painting, and that’s always a good sign. I also made some preliminary color decisions.

After a couple of hours’ work I had the basic figure laid in. The challenge with a piece like this is to keep the exaggerated, stylized line intact while adding the light and shadow which turns the work from a line drawing into a painting that suggests 3-dimensional form and substance.

The final painting, which I titled Latissimus Dorsi for the back/side muscle that’s sticking out under the figure’s arm, turned out well: I was happy with the balance I found between the line drawing and the more sculptural finished painting. I finished this painting on May 7, 2017. It’s acrylic on canvas and the image area measures approximately 22″x32″ (55x81cm). At this writing, the painting is available in my Members-Only Gallery. Or view it directly here.

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