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Artist In Residence Realizes Importance Of Anatomy, Eye For Detail

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Michael Spooneybarger/CREO
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UWF alumnus Josh Green teaches participants in his Torso Anatomy figure-drawing workshop at the University of West Florida Wednesday August 3, 2016 in Pensacola, Florida. Green has spent the last two years studying drawing and painting.

Josh Green points out that artists who paint or draw trees can get away with a lot more than artists who render people.

 

“If most of the tree-like elements are there, you’re OK,” he said. “But if there is something even a few millimeters off with a body or a face, even an untrained eye will notice.” 

 

Green, who graduated from UWF in 2014, has been in Florence, Italy, studying drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art.  For the month of August, he’s back at UWF as an artist in residence at TAG (The Art Gallery).

 

During his residency, Green is teaching figure-drawing classes that anyone may attend. Workshops are from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays in the drawing studio in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. Classes are free, but reservations are required. Email artgallery@uwf.edu or call 850.474.2696. 

 

Many people are interested in drawing the human body, but they don’t want to learn anatomy, Green said. 

 

“If you are doing figure drawing, then you are drawing anatomy,” Green said. “It’s scientific.”

Green said that though learning anatomy is a technical skill, it allows the artist to have a lot of creativity.

 

“Once you know how a body fits together and how a body moves, you can have a certain sense of mastery. It doesn’t matter if the model changes angles, you know what that part of the body is supposed to look like. You’re free to make choices in the composition, and when you make choices about the pose and the light and things like that, then there is more of the artist’s vision in the work.”

 

Appreciating the details of anatomy benefits all of Green’s work, not just his drawings of the human form. He is working on a landscape scene of lily pads floating in water, which he found while walking along the boardwalk on the UWF Nature Trail.

 

His ability to focus on details helps Green notice how the light affects the water at different times of the morning and how the breeze rippling across the water affects light, shadow and color, too.

 

“Doing this landscape is about being in a specific place at a specific time. It’s working specifically from life,” Green said.

 

So far, Green has spent about 40 hours on the boardwalk observing the light on the water and painting the scene on canvas with oils.

“Hopefully I can capture everything that is going on in a moment,” he said. “Then when people look at it, they can take away what they want to.” 

 

Those who are curious about Green’s work or methods can stop by TAG between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Green will answer questions and offer pointers about figure drawing. 

 

“I wanted this artist in residency to be a behind-the-scenes look at an artist’s studio, a sort of conversation between artist and audience,” said Nicholas Crogan, TAG curator and director. “Josh being here has made that happen.”

 

A complete exhibit with works from Green’s residency and his time in Italy opened to the public Aug. 16 at TAG. 

 

This article is part of a collaboration between WUWF and the UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity.