Looking Back Six Years

It's difficult to see progress in your own work, it can feel like you are putting in all you can but not seeing the results you want. I was attempting to organize my images and noticed I had a similar view of a female portrait painted 6 years ago. My first thought was my painting ability should be more advanced than this, but that is an unproductive way of thinking. My goal is to be able to dedicate more time to painting but for now this what I can put in. I think the study on the right is stronger than the one on the left, yes there is room for improvement but there will always be. It's important to see how your work has developed and continue to move forward.

It did not take long to find other examples of studies all completed roughly 6 years apart. These studies are nice to compare because they are all around the same size 8x10 in and they were all painted in 6 hours. 

I spend a lot of time trying to understand the pose while painting a figure during an open studio. When I studied figure drawing our teachers posed the models in a standing contrapposto within a very controlled environment. I believe that setup enables you to see more clearly how the figure is moving. And hopefully, make better decisions about it what to do to make sense of it in your work. I spend most of my time trying to make the bodies of these lounging ladies not look broken.