Tonal Nudes

These drawings owe much to my enthusiasm for the drawings of Seurat and Schiele. Seurat I admire for his treatment of negative space - the areas around his figures have almost as much energy as the figures themselves. Schiele I admire for his erotic power, graphic perfection and infallible sense of design - particularly in his later drawings.

My figures are invariably caught on the move or in transition - I am fascinated by the subtle interactions of muscle, bone and sinew that come into play as a body moves. A half turn, a shift of balance, sometimes just an intention to move can animate an entire figure. As this shows up most clearly and dramatically in male anatomy, most of my figures are male.

The ordinary actions of every day present endless pictorial potential. Quite unconsciously, a man makes wonderful shapes in the course of pulling on a T-shirt, stepping into a pair of trousers or towelling himself dry after bathing. These shapes often suggest the urgency of sport or the measured grace of dance and every now and again, bring to mind the posture of a memorable figure from a great work of art. With these references in mind, even the most routine activity acquires resonance.

© Michael Leonard