Interview with Dennis Young

“It is inherently satisfying to reproduce on paper or canvas a likeness of a human soul that engages the emotion and the concerto of effects and highlights of the human form”

Dennis Young is a self-taught artist located in New Castle, Delaware. He worked in healthcare for many years but now he is a full-time artist. Around twelve years ago, he decided to paint again and remembered how much he enjoyed doing this. Figurative art that captures moments—cityscapes, facial expressions, experiences, landscapes— became his new passion.

Recently, Young opened his own gallery where he exhibits his beautiful oil and pastel paintings. He specializes in plein air art and has earned many awards in this field. During winter, he takes refuge in his studio and works on portraits and human figures.

Dennis Young’s business card featuring painting
 of model Jenni (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A painter Dennis Young shares with PoseSpace how he became a doctor and an artist, his regrets and satisfactions, advice for students or artists interested in plein air painting, and more:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

At the end of my last semester in Pre-Med in college I opted for a studio drawing elective where I drew assignments in charcoal on newsprint. My instructor set me aside from the rest of the class to work independently. I also drew faces from photos and that really pleased me. But I had intended to become a doctor since ninth grade and art did not figure into that. During the first two summers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, I went out into the countryside in Wilmington and painted landscapes that would take me weeks to complete. I had never heard of “plein air painting” and I had no instruction. I still loved to paint faces and did so back at home. When I started a private practice in psychiatry and started a family with my wife, Teresa, I put away the paints for the next 30 years and didn’t think about them. Now that’s a HUGE regret. I stumbled upon a notice in the local paper for an introductory watercolor class and tried it. Then it all came back to me. For about the last dozen years or so I have been trying to make up for that lost time and think about how much farther along I would be in my artwork if I had just peeked out an hour a week back then to paint and draw.

Why figurative art?

I am drawn to paint the human figure and especially the face and the eyes. It is inherently satisfying to reproduce on paper or canvas a likeness of a human soul that engages the emotion and the concerto of effects and highlights of the human form… the light and shadows, the warmth and coolness, the form and subtleties. Sort of Pygmalion-like, I look forward in the mornings to visiting the easel and gazing (critically) upon the developing form on the easel where only days before there were only a few unintelligible paint marks on the canvas.

Can you tell us about the process of making your work? How do you decide when to work in your studio and when to work outside?

I especially enjoy painting outside and being engaged as part of that subject. I like to paint where people are and to interact with the curious. I have even dressed in pirate costume and painted Delaware’s tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. The difference between painting inside and outside is analogous to listening to a concert on the stereo and being at a live performance. I do not paint outside in the winter months and my studio is my favored activity where I paint from photos in travel and also my portraits and figures from live models but especially from the PoseSpace site. That is a joy that justifies winters for me.

I begin the painting of the form directly with lightly sketching in thinned oils and then block in colors and focusing on getting my facial proportions right. I establish highlights and put a lot of focus on the eyes. I suppose my 40 years of office consultations where I would listen and look directly into the eyes and facial expressions of people have influenced my gravitation to perceptions of facial nuances.

(images shared by artist)

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I have several PoseSpace models I gravitate to but the one I have painted the most is Jenni. She has brought me awards and she graces my business card. She garners the most comments in my newly opened gallery, Mo’zArt. That’s the gallery I have opened in Old New Castle, DE after having retired from medicine.

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

I have participated in quite a few competitions and shows in the past ten years and I will be in more this year but the highlight of my artistic ambitions has been to open my own gallery a year ago in the center of the charming historic town of New Castle, Delaware. I exclusively hang my own work. Though I am not making a profit from sales I am having a blast. I host Fourth Friday Art Loops there where residents and tourist come and enjoy the art, good conversation, wine and live (in warm months) music. My current show for February and March is exclusively the form and portrait, “Clothing Optional”.

What advice would you give to young artists regarding plein air painting?

I would advise someone new to plein air painting to make every opportunity to go out and paint, even if in solitary circumstances. One reason is to soak up the experience of being out in the aforementioned live “concert”. Another is to attempt to see nature as the instructor who will show color in shadows or who will give a critique about painting what you SEE rather than what you KNOW. This is an opportunity to get your mistakes out of the way and to feel good about some beauty you’ve created been if you hadn’t planned it. You will surprise yourself one day with some real gem you’ve painted and that will come with practice.

What’s been your greatest artistic success?

I am still awaiting my greatest artistic success which may forever elude me. That would be winning a significant award in a major plein air competition. Otherwise my cherished successes has been the satisfaction of seeing the emotional reaction in people to whom I have delivered a commissioned painting. Even when I wasn’t so satisfied with the painting myself!

Dennis Young’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dyoungarts

Website: www.dennisyoungarts.com

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Duke Marsh

“I realized that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want”

Duke Marsh is a talented rising painter located in Southern California. He recently started his artistic career and shares his wonderful paintings on his Instagram account. His biggest influences have been “the delicate touch of Michelangelo, the shadows of Rembrandt, the softness of Monet and the vivid life of Van Gogh.”

Marsh’s art education is based on visits to distinctive museums such as the Getty Museum. He explained that after looking at art history he then tries to recreate the paintings from his personal perspective to build what his mind sees. Color blindness didn’t stop this artist from daring to experiment with color, emotions and realistic representations.

Sailboat in a Plein Air scene by Duke Marsh (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A painter Duke Marsh shares with PoseSpace how he started his artistic career, why artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt have had a great influence in his work and how he will pursue his professional career:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I always wanted to be able to paint or draw but I think the logical side of my brain got in the way. Then, about three years ago I learned a different way to think about pictures. That is when I finally started making worthwhile paintings. I’ve now done 96 paintings in the last 3 years.

Since I really didn’t have any art training, I had a lot to learn (I had one watercolor class 40 years ago.) While I have a doctorate, my jobs have been in everything except for art. My goal was to first teach myself to be able to paint realistically. I figured when I have enough control of the brush to paint the sailboat in a Plein Air scene and have it look realistic, then when I go to do something that’s more impressionistic or fantasy it will be what I actually set out to paint.

Is art a hobby for you or do you make a living from it?

Right now I do this as a hobby. However, I’m a goal-oriented person and I plan on doing this professionally. I’m in my sixties now so I have more and more time to paint. And the world has no limits, so I started putting my paintings on Instagram. Now that I have an inventory and my own styles I am just looking for the right gallery to form a long-term relationship.

How did you discover www.posespace.com?

The Art Model books led me to the posespace site. The girl holding her legs is the first nude I tried to paint. It was inspired by one of the poses. I had real troubles with the skin tones since I’m color blind.

Painting  by Duke Marsh (image shared by artist)

Van Gogh seems to be a great influence in your work. Can you tell us about your connection with this artist?

Once I started getting fairly realistic, I realized that I needed some motion or emotion to make the pictures more interesting. Also, I liked the dramatic use of black by Rembrandt. However, I still thought my paintings were lacking quite a bit. Too much black loses the vibrant emotions. That’s when I started combining vivid Van Gogh colors with the black shadows of Rembrandt while still trying to get some emotion or movement into it. I realize that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want.

Also, when I read that van Gogh was alive during the Golden Age of the Cowboys is when I started doing my “What if Van Gogh met” series of cowboy paintings.

Do you ever think about what your legacy will be?

I haven’t thought of what my legacy would be until you ask that question. I hope to be remembered as the painter who brought paintings to life.

Duke Marsh’s Instagram:  @duke_marsh_artist

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Aleksandar Tancovski

“I don’t care how long it takes, one day I will be making oil paintings on large canvases of fantasy art like my Old Masters”

Aleksandar Tancovski is a 21 years old art student, born in Skopje, Macedonia. Ever since he was a little boy he enjoys drawing, especially the female body. However, when he was in high school, Aleksandar thought he would become an actor, until one day his father found a pamphlet of an art course that changed his life.

This young artist was so fascinated by the atmosphere of his art course that he decided to enroll in the Faculty of Art & Design of the European University-Republic of Macedonia (EURM). One of his biggest fears is being replaced by machines, that’s why—he explained— he didn’t choose an academy of traditional arts; taking a more modern academic program gives him peace of mind.

Drawing by Aleksandar Tancovsky (image shared by Artist)

One of his beautiful drawings—of our model Adhira, is featured on PoseSpace’s home page. In this Q&A Aleksandar Tancovski explains how he discovered fantasy art, who are his favorite artists and what are his aspirations as an artist:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

Like every kid, I started drawing early, the difference is, I didn’t stop. In kindergarten there was this kid that was drawing knights and castles. Sounded like a better idea than the monsters I was drawing at that time so I started drawing knights, at first on top of castles or just single units standing in the middle of nowhere.  I’ve always been a daydreamer, always imagining myself in some medieval battlefield or a fantasy world with creatures, my parents and peers were worrying why was I lost all the time and walking in circles, running around or swinging with my arms. I guess this would be considered normal as an artist?

As soon as I got into primary school I started drawing legions of knights in which they engaged into battles like in a strategy video-game (basically stick figures with bows and arrows, shields and spears, swords, horses). I guess the inspiration for that came from video game Age of Empires 2 and Stronghold. As soon as that phase passed, I got into drawing weapons, tanks and soldiers because I played First-person shooter video games and finally, I got into Warcraft 3 (fantasy strategy game) and started drawing characters from the game (Elves, orcs, undead, human). It was then, when I looked at some of the concept art and fan art of the characters in the game, that I learned of a theme called ‘Fantasy art’.

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

When I learned about ‘Fantasy art’ I looked it up on Google images and as I was scrolling through the images, a drawing of an elf woman with a spear caught my eye. It was from a fantasy artist named Clyde Caldwell. And I was like: “Wow, the female body sure is a great thing”.

I was fascinated by the female figure and it went off from there, I found out about other artists like Boris Vallejo, Luis Royo and of course, the best of the best: Frank Frazetta. I looked up to them like previous generations looked up to the Old Masters. They were the Da Vincis, the Durers and the Caravaggios for me. All these barbaric women, witches, fairies, demons, they were like visualizations of my dreams. Probably induced by video games or movies. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to visualize my dreams and share them with others, maybe my daydreaming and night dreaming could be put to some good use. So I what did I do? I started copy drawing. But something wasn’t right. Why were my drawings nowhere near as good as my Old masters? (Gee, I wonder why) Because I didn’t know the basics of shading, I didn’t know about form or anatomy. I was just trying to make my drawings look as much as possible as theirs.

It didn’t work that way and when I think about it, why would I want to copy somebody else’s style and story? Why not create my own? So I decided, I will learn anatomy and shading but not by copying someone else’s drawings, but by drawing real models where I choose how to shade, what to shade, what kind of pose it will be, how much contrast to put, the contours and only that way I will be able to slowly develop my style and learn anatomy before I go into fantasy art. Posespace enabled just that.

At one point I had a pretty dark imagination because I got into the thriller genre and I was also influenced by Beksinski and H.R. Giger, I drew macabre art but it had more shock value than actual artistic merit. Until I have perfected anatomy, perspective, coloring and shading, I will not go into that despite the ideas waiting in line to be realized.

Painting made by Aleksandar Tancovsky (Image shared by artist) 

How do you start a drawing — do you have any rituals?

I daydream and night dream more than I actually draw. Before I start drawing I usually do a few sketches or just crosshatch on a bill or a piece of paper and draw simple shapes to warm up. I listen to A way of life from Hans Zimmer (from the Last Samurai, great movie) and other music from movies, anime and so forth.

What is the importance of gesture drawing for you?

Well practicing gestures helps a lot, I think that I can draw a decent pose just from my mind and I’ll need that when I won’t have a pose in front of me or won’t be able to find the pose I’m looking for.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

Hmmm, this one is a bit difficult to answer. I think currently my best drawing is the one of Michaela‘s pose*. To me it’s more about the pose itself and the lightning. I like high contrast and when the tendons, the veins, the muscles, the ribs and the wrinkles are visible and pop out. I like the body in the drawing to look as one of my art course teachers put it ‘Powerful’.

*featured on the cover image

Do you have a favorite source of materials?

I think I shouldn’t move to another medium until I have perfected the pencil but I had to at the University. I use mostly Staedtler pencils and Faber Castell. As for other mediums, I am pretty good with pastels (Koh-I-Noor) and watercolors (Faber Castell and Staedtler). I have not practiced enough with acrylics and oils, but I intend to use oil in the future as my medium of choice, hopefully.

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

I am currently working on perfecting the technique so I can have the tools to visualize my ideas. I have tons and tons of ideas, just waiting in line, ringing my brain and I just hope they will sound just as well in the future as they sound now. There are 3 things I want to have: perfect technique, unique style and a story behind my artwork. I don’t care how long it takes, one day I will be making oil paintings on large canvases of fantasy art like my Old Masters.

I also hope that one day I’ll be a teacher as well, I’m the kind of kid that’s gotten into something he likes and just won’t shut up about it, I guess that kind of enthusiasm will be appealing to some of the students mixed with a bit of sense of humor.

Other goals would include my own comic book with characters, designing video game characters and inspiring other artists.

Aleksandar Tancovski’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atancovsky/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tancovski.aleks

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Eric Saint Georges

“I cannot imagine myself anymore doing anything else… and regret sometimes not to have done this many years ago. There is so much to learn and life is so short”

Eric Saint Georges is a talented French artist living in the USA since 1994. Even though he’s always enjoyed drawing and building objects, he has had a conflicted relationship with art. After college, Eric studied electrical engineering but didn’t join the workforce right away. Instead, he followed his artistic instincts and went to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris for two years. He learned to draw and sculpt, and participated in a workshop with French artist Pétrus in 1978.

However, after developing his artistic skills, Eric preferred to work as an engineer for 35 years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he decided to devote himself to art and started drawing, building sculptures, teaching art and experimenting with different materials in his studio in Los Gatos, California.

Ali, bronze 10″ high. Sculpture by Eric Saint Georges (image shared by artist)

This artist has learned to incorporate his knowledge —including Aikido, a Japanese martial art he’s been practicing for over 45 years— and take advantage of his virtues to create art. In this Q&A artist Eric Saint Georges shares with PoseSpace his life-changing experiences, favorite artists and future projects:

Even though you studied drawing and sculpture in the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts” in 1978, you pursued your professional career as an electrical engineer. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that you decided to make art. Could you tell us more about this decision and how you felt at that moment?

After all these years of engineering, I felt that none of what I have done couldn’t have been done by someone else. Of course, I had fun solving some interesting problems but I felt that at the end of the day all this hard work was not making much of a difference. On the other end, I loved art, I knew I had some talent and a lot to learn and progress to make. I had been thinking a lot about it for several years, and at some point made the decision. I took another couple of years to transform our garage into a studio, wait until our daughters were out of college, and quit my job. For one year, I still worked half time as an engineer while taking various art classes and in January 2016 went into art full time. I cannot imagine myself anymore doing anything else… and regret sometimes not to have done this many years ago… There is so much to learn… and life is so short. Maybe it is the reason I like to work fast, and focus on expression and energy, with little interest in realistic representation of things.

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

My favorite is probably Andy Goldsworthy land art. I also love Pierre-Yves Tremois etchings (his lines are so beautiful).

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I believe my aïkido practice is helping me to understand and experience that power (in the case of martial art) and true expression (in case of art) cannot come from the intellect, and has to come from your core, without interference from your mind… This is also another reason why I work fast. If I take the time to think, my work loses its energy and its life.

How do you view the state of figure art in the current art culture?

I believe people have and will always connect with human form representation. That is our nature. Now, whether this is an important part of the current art culture, I am not sure…

Drawing by Eric Saint Georges (image shared by artist)

You mentioned you would like to use your engineering background to combine art and technology. Have you started doing this?

I started a project using Virtual Reality and 3D printing to create sculptures. I have also a few projects I am thinking about. One is about interactive art. Today’s technology brings us many tools we can use for that purpose. Taking people (random) inputs, and transforming them (using computer algorithms combined with physical elements) into animated images or sounds. Another one is to create interesting and beautiful ways to visualize science phenomena so that people can experience them as images, videos or sounds. These will probably take time to realize. In the meantime, working on my sculptures, designing new types or armatures, making molds, casting bronze, etc… involve a lot of engineering.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about.

When I was young I thought I had plenty of time…

Eric’s website: http://www.ericsaintgeorges.com/about/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericsaintgeorges/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-saint-georges-979817/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ericsaintgeorgesart/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Sladjana Buhovac

“I should have followed my heart long ago but it’s never too late to start again”

Sladjana Buhovac is a talented figurative sculptor from Sarajevo based in Canada. A few years ago, she rediscovered her passion for sculpting and decided to sculpt non-stop. Sladjana shares her work on Facebook and Instagram and her community keeps growing and admiring her fascinating sculptures.

This artist is constantly working on new projects. Sladjana seems to find inspiration in daily life. She can sculpt a bust of Julian Assange in clay or a Morgan Freeman portrait in terracotta, but also a beautiful mermaid in the sand or a peculiar snowman after a snowfall. Recently, she has taken advantage of technology in social media and has created short clips to show a complex sculpture of Adhira and Leo’s kiss or the details of her new Venus—sometimes with beautiful instrumental music in the background.

Sculptures by Sladjana Buhovac (image posted on Instagram)

In this Q&A sculptor Sladjana Buhovac shares with PoseSpace how she started her career as an artist, what inspires her, why she uses our models and shares valuable advice for artists interested in sculpting:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I was born in Sarajevo in former Yugoslavia. I started drawing at a very young age and everywhere we went I always had paper and pen with me. I loved design and wanted to get in secondary art school in textile design. As admission exam, we had to draw, paint and sculpt. When I went to see if I got in, I was accepted as a sculptor, not as a designer. I was surprised and confused but it soon became clear to me that they recognized my talent before I did. So I started studying at the University of Fine Arts in Sarajevo but my first year was interrupted by war. We left Sarajevo for Belgrade, where I continued my studies of fine arts and got my BFA major in Sculpture in 1997.

You have mentioned on Instagram that sometimes you start a new project before finishing your previous sculpture. What inspires you? What makes you feel that urge to start a new sculpture?

What most inspires me is the human figure. I kind of gave up on my art after moving to Canada and started sculpting again just a few years ago. There are so many things I wanna do to make up for lost time. And since I can’t work with live models at the moment, finding your website was a great inspiration with so many great models and poses so good that while doing one pose I can’t wait to start a new one. I highly recommend it for sculpting since you can see poses from all angles.

Sculpture by Sladjana Buhovac (image posted on Instagram)


What were you doing before you decided to sculpt again?

After moving to Canada I enrolled in a program that lasted 1 year in the local College, which was more of a workshop for sculpture. I did portrait in stone but I never finished it. I was overwhelmed with depression at the time due to some family issues and moving to another country contributed even more. Later on, I worked in restaurants and retail stores until my husband and I opened our own upholstery business in 2002. He is the real master of his trade. I had my corner in the shop set up for sculpting, but I wasn’t much inspired. He taught me how to sew and I learned very quickly and became very good at it. With all the beautiful fabrics I had around me, I started designing and making my own handbags which I sold on the craft market on Granville Island. I tried sculpting over the years, but that wouldn’t last too long. I participated in one contest at Stage Gallery in New York with a portrait of Camille Claudel I did from photos I found on the internet. I received a letter from them that my work was an honorable mention in that competition. Still, that wasn’t enough to push me forward. Then, when my son was born in 2007, I dedicated my time to him for several years.

Real inspiration and ignition of my passion for sculpting again came on one of my vacations in Cuba in 2015. I was on the beach and started sculpting life-sized women in the sand. That was the turning point. When I returned home, I got some clay and started sculpting portraits of my friends from photos. And I knew that this time I’m not giving it up ever again. I just love sculpting with clay. I love working in stone too but that is a very slow process and with clay I can do sculptures in one day. My living room is my studio for now.

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

I hope in some near future to exhibit my work to a larger audience.

What digital device do you use to see PoseSpace.com’s photos?

I mostly use PC since the screen is larger than other devices, but I also use my iPad from time to time.

What advice do you have for young artists who have an interest in sculpting?

My advice is to never give up on your art. Don’t listen to others, follow what inspires you the most. When I studied fine arts in the late nineties, figurative sculpture seemed like a dying field. Everyone, including my classmates, were pursuing installations and abstract work and I felt totally lost, I got a gift that nobody was interested in. So it seemed at the time. I should have followed my heart long ago but it’s never too late to start again.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sladja.sculpture/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sladjasculptures/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Tim Skinner

“Changing the lighting on a sculpture is the same as rearranging the paint on a canvas. As sculptors we need to sculpt with this in mind. Light is literally our paintbrush”

Tim Skinner is a Canadian sculptor who also enjoys photography and collects vintage cameras. He has lived in warmer lands—Australia and Israel—, and tried, unsuccessfully, to study auto-mechanics and join Photography School. However, he did become an accomplished graphic designer and discovered his talent for sculpting a few years ago. His sense of humor precedes him and his sculptures are the best proof of this artist’s great talent.

On his Instagram account, the sculptor shares images of this works of art, his charming cats and models—Todd and Max— and special equipment like his Fujinon 75-150 f4.5. Tim’s website features a wonderful quote from famous Japanese writer, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, that seems to guide us to his aesthetic interest: “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.”

Sculpture by Tim Skinner using Nedah036 and Candace029 as a reference  (shared by artist)


In this Q&A sculptor Tim Skinner shares with PoseSpace the details of how he discovered his passion to create sculptures, who are his favorite models and explains why light is so important when displaying a sculpture:

You are a self-taught figurative sculptor. Can you tell us more about how you got into art?

I’ve always been interested in art. I really enjoyed drawing but it never came naturally for me. It wasn’t until many years into a career as a graphic designer that I accidentally discovered sculpting while playing with plasticine with my kids. It occurred to me that I was having a lot more fun than they were.

At that time I had lost interest in art and considered it to be far too self-indulgent for grown-ups, so I discounted the notion of pursuing sculpture. A lifelong friend persuaded me to persist with sculpting, his point being that one should demonstrate by example to our kids that personal growth is valuable and worthwhile —not necessarily self-serving.

That was about five or six years ago. My first sculptures were embarrassing, but I felt this was something I could get better at, with enough time and practice.

Can you tell us about the process of making your sculptures? Do you have any rituals?

I have no formal training so I’m not an exemplar by any means. I started sculpting with drywall compound, the stuff they stick to walls to cover seams. It was messy and dusty, time-consuming and awkward; but I already had it on hand.

Some time later, a friend gave me her recipe for homemade wax/clay —a fantastic modelling material. I sculpted with that for years, but mould-making and casting is time-consuming and expensive. All I want to do is sculpt. That other stuff just keeps me from sculpting.

So recently I’ve switched again —to epoxy clay. It’s like bread dough until it cures to a rock hard consistency. This is ideal for me. The epoxy clay is applied like an exoskeleton over a rough wireframe or foil armature. So basically, I rough in the general form, a section at a time, with fresh epoxy clay, then once it cures, it becomes more like a traditional stone-carving process.

Once I’ve settled on a composition, I start looking for reference material. My workspace and my methods are not well suited for live life-model work. The model would likely expire from tedium or old age before I was done. So I use general observation (people watching) and photo references.

It’s commonly believed that photo references are inadequate compared to live in-person models. I do not hold this view. I think if the life-model’s pose is recorded thoughtfully it can be a very compelling asset. That’s why I’m sold on the PoseSpace service. The high-resolution 360-degree image sequences are an essential part of my workflow. They’ve helped me to get to a level not possible with only single static images.

You also have a passion for photography and the images of your sculptures on social media are very artistic. Could you explain how you combine these arts?

Photography, when done correctly, can force us to consider lighting. Changing the lighting on a sculpture is the same as rearranging the paint on a canvas. As sculptors we need to sculpt with this in mind. Light is literally our paintbrush. I hope my photographs inspire other sculptors to become more particular about how their work is lit. It’s vitally important. So often I see fantastic sculptures ruined in hideous ways by thoughtless light. I always like to see a photo of my work in a client’s home in order to verify that they’ve lit it properly. If someone rearranged the lines on a drawing, the artist would go bonkers. Sculptors don’t seem to be given nor do they expect that same consideration. I hope my photos help to drive that point home.

Sculpture by Tim Skinner using Anaiv222 as a reference  (shared by artist)

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I rarely rely on one pose sequence for any given sculpture. Usually a few. The gesture from one model and the musculature from another perhaps. My Library of PoseSpace downloads has a few poses by AnaIv and also KeiraG. That is not by mistake. If either of these models has something approximating the pose I require then that’s what I will choose. Both AnaIv and KeiraG have outstanding muscular definition. That helps me to accurately transfer their musculature to my armature. I think it helps me to concentrate my study on one or two models generally, because that familiarity helps when I have to extrapolate how the figure would look when I inevitably go off-script.

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

Absolutely none. Everyone is very supportive and encouraging.

What advice do you have for young artists who have an interest in sculpture?

I’m not a commercially successful sculptor, so any advice I might have relates to an artistic pursuit rather than a career pursuit. Of my sculptures, the ones that seem to resonate the most with people are the pieces I made by indulging my own desire. So-called “legitimate” subjects and processes should be viewed as suggestions. Never take credit for mistakes that turn out well. Encourage people to handle your sculpture. They are objects. The experience is enriched exponentially when people touch the form.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tim_canadian_sculptor/

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/timskinnercanada/


Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Matti Vesanen

“The detailed sculpting of the face or hands is challenging but when you get it right, it takes the whole sculpture to a different level altogether”

Matti Vesanen is a 43 years old sculptor from the south of Finland. He imprisons human nature in fascinating resin, plaster, bronze or wood structures. The majority of his artworks explore the nude female figure from different perspectives, emotions and living moments. His sculptures are versatile, you can find them in private collections or public spaces, in gardens or in living rooms, in a 13-meter-high Corten steel relief or an 8cm tall bronze figure.

This Finnish artist is constantly working. He regularly shares on Instagram his works in progress and you can explore his techniques and his sculpting process on his website. Matti is always participating in expositions and exhibiting his works of art in local places and events. Also, every year —since 2013— he holds the annual Autumn Exhibition in a property of his own. Last August it was called “Immortals” and visitors could explore around 20 pieces of art inside the house and in the garden.

“Shipwrecked Madonna” by Matti Vesanen using PoseSpace photography as a reference (shared by artist)

His work has undoubtedly grown and expanded in the past few years. In this short Q&A interview, Matti explains how he got into art, the challenges he faces while sculpting and how his technique has evolved:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

As a kid and teenager, I went to an art school for children and youth but never thought I would be an artist. I trained and worked as a mechanical engineer. When I was 26, I started sculpting as a hobby at the local community college, where they had a live model; I still go there to this day. Gradually the idea of becoming a professional artist sort of grew on me and I began to do sculpting, first part-time, then full time.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your perfect environment to sculpt?

I do listen to the radio, mostly classical and rock music as well as talk radio. My studio is a fairly peaceful place without too many distractions. With two young kids, it’s a haven!

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

In my work I try to achieve a natural, unforced effect so that the pose wouldn’t seem rigid or artificial. You also have to consider all the possible directions from which you can look at the sculpture. A pose can look perfectly fine from one angle but strange from another. The detailed sculpting of the face or hands is challenging but when you get it right, it takes the whole sculpture to a different level altogether.

“And moss grew all over it” by Matti Vesanen using PoseSpace photography as a reference (shared by artist)

How did you discover www.posespace.com?

Around 2011 I was looking for model photos on the internet; I had previously used photos from another internet source for my work, but PoseSpace was better than the others. I could purchase single poses without subscribing to an annual membership. Most importantly for sculpting, the website provides the most camera angles of a model, much more than other similar websites. Seven years on, this is still the case.

How has your style changed over the years?

These days the surface of my sculptures is rougher, less polished than what it used to be. Now I often patinate the surface while my earlier work tended to have a more even and monochromatic finish. I find that patinating and visible layering of paint give more depth to the sculptures.

Website www.mattivesanen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vesanenmatti/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004514388768

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Gwen Roberts

“I use realism to enhance specific areas of importance and draw the viewer toward a more intimate proximity to the work”

Gwen Roberts is a Photorealism artist who uses her pencils to create fascinating drawings. This British artist describes herself as “curator of emotions” and has a special talent to transform photo references into unique, delicate and sophisticated pieces of art.

She develops her drawings with extreme detail and care, and uses different social media channels to promote her work. In her Youtube channel, she explains her drawing process and teaches how to draw realistic skin textures, pores and lips. Gwen is also currently working on a book—a step-by-step guide where she reveals her drawing secrets—and sells her drawings as prints on Saatchi Art.

“Eclipsed” by Gwen Roberts. Shared on Artworks, inspired by a PoseSpace.com model

A few years ago, she decided to change her life and follow her artistic instinct. In this Q&A interview, Gwen explains how she uses PoseSpace.com, why she chose graphite as her medium and shares wonderful advice for art students interested in Photorealism:

You started working in the financial industry and after 20 years without picking up a pencil you decided to start drawing. What happened? Do you remember how you felt at that moment?

I was working in a very stressful job and when the contract ended I decided to take some time out. I have never lost my passion for art so it seemed a good opportunity to do some drawing. It was like taking a breath of fresh air. Following my instincts to put pencil to paper came rushing back. It felt so natural.

Why did you choose graphite as your medium?

As a child, I was always drawing. I wanted to sketch with sophistication; I was never interested in drawing cartoons like most other children of my age. I used to practice drawing perfect circles, because in my mind if I could draw a perfectly round circle I could draw anything. I think it paid off.

By the time I had gotten proficient in sketching, graphite was a medium I felt very comfortable with. However, when I returned to my beloved fascination with graphite later in life, I started to realise how versatile the medium was. To this day I strive to push the medium as far as I can with layers and textures to creature as much realism as possible.

I would like to turn my attention to paint at some point but I’m not done with graphite yet. I am currently working on new ideas for larger scale pieces on canvas.

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

There are many artists whom I admire. My first encounter with photorealism was the great Chuck Close. He was my inspiration toward the movement. I also have Kelvin Okafor to thank for revealing his techniques in his blog, which I adapted to suit my own hand. However, it is important to me that my work is not overly focused on technique. A photorealistic style contributes to the objective but is not a means to an end. I do not strive to faithfully replicate a photograph. I use realism to enhance specific areas of importance and draw the viewer toward a more intimate proximity to the work.

During the few years I have been developing my practice I have had the honour of corresponding with an Instagram acquaintance who has kindly given me guidance through the challenging process of finding myself artistically. Gary Epting is a fantastic artist, a great mentor and a good friend. I have a lot to thank him for. Epting has taught me to take inspiration from what I know and what is familiar to me. Annie Murphy-Robinson is one such artist whom also enthuses me to do so. Having a sense of mystery in my work is essential to my philosophy and Dirk Dzimirsky, Johan Barrios and Marilyn Minter are contributory in stimulating a lot of my ideas at this point in time. There are many more but my favourites seem to change with what mood I happen to be in.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model? 

Before the work is put to paper I already visualise how it will look and I will have a pose in mind. Therefore when I use PoseSpace.com I am not looking at the models, I am looking for a suitable pose. PoseSpace.com provides an extensive choice and a variety of poses. The 360 degree option is also very useful.

It is difficult to find willing models, even without nudity and it can get expensive to pay a professional model and it’s helpful to be pretty handy with a camera, have suitable studio space and lighting, etc. Consequently, PoseSpace.com overcomes these problems for a regular artist and the high quality images also benefit an artist, such as myself, who works in minute detail.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

A bit like a writer writes about what he or she knows, I draw on what is familiar to me or interpret emotions I have felt from past experiences. However, I consider it is important to have some mystery and ambiguity in the work so that the viewer has something to ponder over or put their own viewpoint to. Therefore, if I were to reveal the experiences that have inspired the work it would leave nothing for the viewer. I much prefer to keep them private, as some are very sensitive and personal.

What advice do you have for artists who are studying drawing and have an interest in Photorealism?

I think my top tip for anyone just starting to learn photorealistic techniques is to focus on mastering accuracy. Don’t rush the initial process of plotting out your drawing at the start. I spend a long time placing the features of a portrait before I even consider the shading.

If I may, I would like to mention that I am working on a book that will reveal my techniques and process. It will take the reader through a “step by step” guide of one of my drawings from start to finish. There will be photos and a detailed explanation at every stage. In addition, there will be sections the reader can refer to for more information that focus on specific facial features such as a nose or a mouth. I am attempting to make short YouTube videos to accompany the book as well.

“Twenty Four Seven” by Gwen Roberts. Shared on Artworks

You are very active on social media. How have these platforms influenced your work?

I find that social media is a great platform to get my work seen. I do not yet have gallery representation and I do not exhibit on a regular basis and so social media is a good way to get exposure and build a reputation. It can, however, disrupt my creative thought process. I have tripped up with quite a few pieces where I have been distracted with what people want to see rather than what it is I want to say. I want to produce unique and interesting work but it is very easy to jump on the bandwagon and draw portraits of celebrities in order to get more followers. Social media is flooded with repetitive subject matter and it makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd if you use a photo from the Internet. This is exactly why PoseSpace.com is so beneficial and there is the advantage that the images are royalty-free. If you are intent on taking someone else’s photograph and faithfully replicate it, the work is not entirely your own and you are at risk of the work being void of emotion and merely about technical skill.

In addition to putting together a book, I am currently working on some new drawings. To enable me to focus my thoughts entirely on a new body of work without outside influence, I am posting less frequently on social media at the moment. I will no doubt interchange between bouts of divulgence and quiet periods of solitude.

Gwen Roberts website: https://gwenrobertsartist.weebly.com

Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/gwenrobertsdrawing/

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvq2M_m0kUecDQTcdktqezQ

Artwork: https://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/848989

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Liz Gridley

“Feels amazing to declare myself a professional artist, finally!”

Liz Gridley’s paintings seem to capture strong emotions and feelings in every piece, especially in her portraits. This talented artist was born in Melbourne in 1989 and showed her artistic side since she was a young girl. Now, after several awards and exhibitions, she can proudly consider herself a professional artist.

She recently presented her first solo show “Empathy, My Witness” in Melbourne, a beautiful exhibition of paintings with “heightened colour, expression and flesh” at the Off the Kerb Gallery. The audience got to see her work first hand and experience strong connections with her soulful artwork.

Photograph of her painting “Withheld” exhibited at “Empathy, My Witness” (shared by artist) /
Model: Chelle

In this Q&A interview, Liz shares with PoseSpace her thoughts, the names of the artists she admires, more details about her work and the most valuable lessons she has learned as a professional artist:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

As many artists do, I started by being the ‘arty’ kid at school who wanted to do nothing more than draw and draw and draw. My main academic interest started when I was 14 and tried my first Life Drawing class (a bit daunting for my father at the time, to leave me to draw nude models with strangers, but he got over it very fast when he saw how excited I was with the drawings!) I’ve been happily stuck on the figure ever since, completing a Bachelor of Visual Art Honors in painting at Monash University in Caulfield (VIC, Australia) in 2010.

I’m now (after a bit of life happening) 2 years into a full time art practice and it feels amazing to declare myself a professional artist, finally!

“Proclamation” by Liz Gridley

What life experiences have influenced your work?

In 2008 I was lucky enough to be able to do one semester of my university degree at the Monash University Prato campus (near Florence, Italy). The months I spent in Italy were very crucial to my love of Baroque masters and pursuit of a marriage between traditional and contemporary techniques. I focused my projects on the abundance of figurative sculpture in Florence: the drama in posing, lighting shifting during the day highlighting narratives and moments of emotional tension. Experiencing these pieces I’d seen in books or online was so fundamentally different in the flesh, so to speak.

What is the importance of life drawing for you?

As I mentioned, life drawing sort of kick started me on my art journey! When I haven’t been able to paint, when life or work became the priority, it has been life drawing almost every time that kicks me back into gear. By focusing on your forms, working in fast quick moments and slowly building to longer poses it is an exercise that lets me shut my brain up and get my arm back into form. I thoroughly recommend life drawing as a regular habit to realist artists as it refreshes you and allows for play and experimentation that can sometimes be more difficult to fit into your studio practice if you’re focused on a subject or style.

How do you use PoseSpace.com’s photos?

I stumbled onto PoseSpace’s archive on Tumblr years ago, initially it was a great resource to just find interesting poses for figures (I’ve never been good at drawing from my imagination, reference is essential) but I started using the images more when I bought my first book & disc collection Art Models 6 – The Female figure in Shadow and Light. The accompanying disc is a well loved resource, not only for the 360 degree views but for the high resolution detail! Zooming into the faces and details has allowed me to practice not only figure drawing but portrait techniques in paint as well.

Images of Liz Gridley’s work in progress and final result using PoseSpace’s model Luana as a reference (shared by artist)

In 2018 I also did my first demonstration for Ringwood Art Society, in a room of 50+ people, with open doors and drafty conditions it wasn’t appropriate for me to have a live nude model, so I spruked and used my Art Models book! Live drawing in PanPastel straight from the reference image was convenient, it was visible on a projected screen and I received lovely comments from the audience.

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

The problem with smartphones and instagram is I find new amazing artists to watch everyday! Up at the top I’m a huge fan of Roberto Ferri (contemporary artist, painting in the style of Baroque Old Masters), Jennifer Gennari (Oil Paint artist, master of portraits & animal paintings) and silicon (hyper realist) figurative sculptors such as Sam Jinks, Patricia Piccinini and Ron Mueck.

You have won several awards ever since you started your career. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a professional artist over the past few years?

I’ve been very lucky and honored to win some gongs in drawing and painting, most notably the 2017 Graeme Hildebrand Emerging Art Prize (Body of Work, Major Prize). I’ve learnt so much from taking chances to enter things and say yes to opportunities.

I think one of the hardest lessons is how to deal with comparison against other artists. With Instagram and online communities its all too easy to feel overwhelmed by seeing artists accomplish what you’re working for (a technique, an award, getting an opportunity) it’s part of being human, but you can’t let it stop you! So many people tell you “everything’s been done” and “nothing is original” –the hardest part is believing that. Trusting that even if 20 artists all do the same thing, there’s no loss in making art, all 20 would still be unique to each artist. In short: no matter what, just keep making!

Liz Gridley’s website: https://lizgridley.com.au
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/lizgridleyartist/

Interview by Andrea Miliani