I'm A Cheater! by Heather Goldstein

Yes, I said it, I'm a cheater! I am a young artist and I have only been studying the figure for 3 years, but I have found that if it is something you are passionate about, you will do the work. Any figure painter will tell you the difficulties of proportions. In school we learn a basic canon (i.e. an adult is 6 1/2 to 7- sometimes 8- heads tall, the eyes are half way down the face from the top of the crown to the chin, the nose is 1/3 of the way down from the end of the nose to the chin, etc.). Unfortunately, most people do not fall into these perfect proportions and so we must use them as a baseline but be ready to improvise. My paintings from 2009, below, show the unpredictability I have had...
Oil on Canvas
I had a lot of issues when I measured this painting. Often times, we make the head too large and hands too small. The best question to ask yourself is, "could they stand up?" I personally work from photographs and then turn them into life-size figures. The method I used here was a grid. I drew a grid over my photo (printed on computer paper) and then the same one on the canvas. I then sketched out the figure with charcoal and continued my painting. Anyone who has worked like this knows that the gird is not fool-proof. There is a lot things that may go wrong and sometimes its hard to see.
Hey Girl Hey!
Oil on Canvas
I of course, have to put in an example of problem proportions. This is a great example of the head being too large for the body.
Oil on Canvas
Of all of that measuring I did with the previous two, here is an example of a free hand large scale drawing (NO MEASURING!!). Art can be unpredictable and you need to be prepared for failed paintings. And know that sometimes you will regress before you progress.

So...why am I a cheater? I use what many artists before me have (in some form or another) and I cut out what is sometimes hours of frustration by using a projector! I love the Artograph MC 250 and the Prism Series!

Keepin it Gangsta!
Oil on Canvas

American Dream
Oil on Canvas

With the projector, I am able to save time and get it right the first time.

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