Tutor Reccomended Reading from Assignment 4- Life Models and Artist Euan Uglow

“Life Modelling: and now for the nudes” 

“Life Modelling: and now for the nudes” I can see why my tutor has pointed me in the direction of this Gaurdian Article which looks at different view points from the life models including why they do it, body confidence and misconceptions. ironically a couple of moths ago I had a couple of very ignorant school gate moms who thought it was hilarious that I attended a weekly class with “real naked people” (making some very nasty personal comments).  As drawing people is one of my favourite subjects I find this view so interesting, people’s perceptions of why we draw nudes and more so as the Gaurdian Article points out why people become nude models “It’s about being part of the creation of art – about the beauty of the human form” (Barnet 2009).

Some reflective thoughts I had from this article is that Simonetta Vespucci the believed model for Botticelli Birth of Venus is unknowingly now more famous than the likes of our modern-day celebrities who also often reveal themselves.  The portrait of Sue Tiley (an everyday civil servant) by Lucien Freud’s sold for £17.2m.

Further more next time I attend my life class I think it is interesting to find out more about the models themselves and see how this reflects into my art I believe it will put another dimension when considering drawing the nude and less objectification of the person.

I had no idea this even existed “Register of Artists’ Models existed and is good to know for future reference http://www.modelreg.co.uk/index.php

This is a very refreshing thought about the purpose of a life model that also has some connotations to why (I) we make art: “There are so many jobs that are really pointless,” she says. “Just working in an office and making money to keep a big corporation alive. But the thing I really like about working with artists is that they get so inspired by simple things – a person, or a piece of fruit. For me, it’s like they take back the things we’ve lost. Joy in nature. Joy in life.” (Simon 2009).

Euan Uglow : Measurement, proportion and composition.

Drawing is the most immediate way of making your ideas, sensations, and information explicit.

— Euan Uglow

Painting Perceptions is a really interesting website, I have tentatively had a look at random of some other artists on there too that I have noted to return to when I study Practise of Painting such as Zoey Frank http://paintingperceptions.com/interview-with-zoey-frank/

Euan Uglow a british artist (1932- 2000) http://paintingperceptions.com/euan-uglow/, use of space and form within his work is really interesting: the marks are clear and transparent that forms the figure and flesh It appears to me like an editing process that he is deciding which light, space and mark will represent each plane throughout the composition.


Fig 1  Curled nude on a stool 1982-3 Oil on canvas Euan Uglow.

From research I can see how Uglow a student of William Coldstream has been influenced by him. Euan Uglow is not an artist that I have encountered before. As Uglow always works from observation “The measuring marks over the surface of Uglow’s paintings are a distinctive feature of his work” (Groff 2010) that he leaves in incase he needs to refer to them again. It could be argued how the marks are interpreted by the viewer depending on the viewers own artistic knowledge as incidental, pretty or inspiring. To me it’s like viewing ghost lines or workings outs its all relevant to the overall process and adds to the aesthetic value. I found it really interesting to view his compositional process not only the sketches but to the real life compositional scene and how I can then use this method in my work? Does this help to the 3D process or inviting the viewer into his work? I actually find this method alone interesting as a site specific piece of art exploring line.

nuriasetup uglow

Fig 2 Set up for Nuria (Euan Uglow) 

“Some of Uglow’s still lifes have meaningful stories behind them that Uglow appeared to feel were only for him or the people close to him” (Groff, 2010) I can really relate to this as I seem to be interested in a narrative in my work. The painting Mimosa is a believed to be of a dear friends funeral flowers. Compositionally and  interestingly his drawings do not always fill the sheet of paper. His painting of  Skull 1994-7 shows structure, possible use of Golden section or other mathematical systems whilst working out the overall composition. This observation makes me want to re work assignment 2 with all these theories in mind.

The article on painting perceptions informs of Uglow’s strict ways of working and rules to allow him to paint, again I understand this need and admire his discipline.


Barnet, L. (2009) Life Modelling: and now for the nudes In: The Guardian [Online] https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/apr/07/life-model-artists-studio (accessed 18 May 2017)

Groff, L. 2010 Euan Uglow At: http://paintingperceptions.com/euan-uglow/3/ (accessed 18 May 2017)

Simon, Z. 2009 Life Modelling: and now for the nudes In: The Guardian [Online] https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/apr/07/life-model-artists-studio (accessed 18 May 2017)


Fig 1  Curled nude on a stool 1982-3 Oil on canvas Euan Uglow http://paintingperceptions.com/euan-uglow/3/ (accessed 18 May 2017)

Fig 2 Set up for Nuria (Euan Uglow) http://paintingperceptions.com/euan-uglow/ (accessed 18th May 2017)


2 thoughts on “Tutor Reccomended Reading from Assignment 4- Life Models and Artist Euan Uglow

  1. Very interesting! And thank you for sharing the links, I’ll read that article. The life drawing thing does make you think, doesn’t it? It feels a very natural thing to do, and I love it, but at the same time some people will titter at the idea (like your school mums) even though they probably don’t bat an eyelid at nudity elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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