Figure painting

Figure painting is a form of the visual arts in which the artist uses a live model as the subject matter of a two-dimensional piece of artwork using paint as the medium. In most cases the live model is nude and the painting is a representation of the full body of the model. It is analogous in most respects to figure drawing, which is usually done in pencil of some kind.

Some artists very well known for figure painting are Rubens, Degas, and Manet.


by James Abbott McNeill Whistler


by Abbot Handerson Thayer


Second-style mural painting

Figure paintings are oft en historicalmythologicalallegorical or imaginary depictions that may have figures in appropriate costumes, unlike figure drawings which are usually nudes. The length of time needed to complete a painting has led most modern painters to use photographs as references at least part of the time if not for the entire work although working from live models is preferred. Oil painting has been the ideal art for depicting the figure. The surface becomes exactly like the skin by blending and layering the paint. History states that printing and publishing were the art of illustration that was closely linked to the industrial processes.