Contemporary Figures in Watercolour gives you behind-the-scenes secrets of a life model

A new book from Figuration takes us deep inside the process.

Contemporary Figures in Watercolour gives you behind-the-scenes secrets of a life model

In Contemporary Figures in Watercolour, painter Leo Crane and art model Roy Joseph Butler explore how to interpret the gestures and movements of the figure through the language of paint.

Through a range of exercises, they show how to work with the fluidity and immediacy of watercolour, to create lively paintings that are bursting with character and narrative possibility.

With experience in both fine art and animation, they share tips on bringing life to the figure, and encourage the reader to discover a liberating and enjoyable approach to paint. Packed with techniques, exercises and step-by-step demonstrations, the book covers:

  • The Figure: Observing the human figure and working with life models
  • Watercolour: Materials, tools, techniques and colour theory
  • Speed: Capturing movement and painting at speed, with two-minute studies
  • Gesture: Poses, sequences and conveying expression
  • Story: Creating mood, context, composition and narrative
  • Beyond the Figure: Bringing human energy and movement to still life, animals and landscapes
  • From the models: Life model case studies

Paintings by Leo feature throughout to demonstrate the working process through to finished product.With a focus on the dynamic exchange between artist and subject, speed, gesture and story, this book will appeal to artists looking anew at life painting and who are eager to capture the essence of character in movement.

Leo Crane and Roy Joseph Butler are co-founders of Figuration, a creative studio specialising in fine art and animation.They produce films, exhibitions, workshops and events in partnership with cultural and community spaces across the UK.