The human figure in art: how Brian Fletcher brings forms to life

The human figure presents one of the most complex challenges for artists.

Yet it’s a challenge Brian Fletcher believes anyone worth their salt should rise to… because the skills developed and the discipline involved can prove invaluable in terms of general artistic development.

Brian has several works on show at the current RBSA Members and Associates Exhibition, which runs until December 23.

The exhibition offers art lovers the chance to view the very best in contemporary art on sale in Birmingham in a range of styles and media.


Brian says: ‘I have always drawn from the human figure. It is a fundamental discipline for the artist, exercising skills of concentrated observation and the expression of responses through controlled manipulation of media.

‘It is a thoroughly demanding exercise requiring acute and focused attention. For years I worked to develop accurate representations of the human form, a changing entity with never-ending variations.

‘One well known artist once described the life room as ‘one of the least sexual places on earth.

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‘With greater control and more acute observation skills my attention has become more narrowly defined. My interests have begun to develop into unusual compositions, high keyed colour contrasts and strong tonal variations.

‘These have become the subjects of the paintings, more so than the physical subject of the studio model.

‘It becomes ever more challenging and absorbing.’

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Brian has also made a name for himself with large scale paintings and drawings of the Black Country.

He is drawn to industrial structures, aspects of the landscape which even in decay throw out new shapes and colours.

He adds: ‘‘My subject matter may vary, but fundamentally the same interests in mark making, composition and colour run through the different series as underlying concerns.’

Brian is an elected member of the RBSA, the Birmingham Art Circle, Dudley Society of Artists and Vice President of the Easel Club. He has many opportunities to exhibit, and his influences reveal a formal training and deep appreciation of art.

‘I am influenced by so many great painters,’ he says. ‘Where to begin? Soutine, Frank Auerbach, Barbara Rae, the Fauves, Dennis Creffield, David Bomberg… many, many others, all of them expressionist, adventurous painters and draughtsmen.

‘In the immediate future I am intending to return to another theme that I pursue – large impasto and intensely coloured cathedral interiors.

‘Although the direct subject matter is different, the handling of paint and gestural are the same. Both are inspired by robust and rugged subject matter.’

Visit our Members and Associates Exhibition!

Why not visit the RBSA   and spend some time looking at a stunning selection of contemporary art?  You may find a Christmas gift for someone special… visit before the 23 December.

Our Own Art scheme makes the process affordable through an interest free loan: artwork valued at over £100 can be paid for in ten instalments.

You can also talk to the gallery about commissioning art.


Brian Fletcher has exhibited widely both locally and nationally, including the Royal Society of British Artists.  His work is held in the permanent collections of Shropshire County Council, Dudley Art Gallery and the RBSA, where he also regularly exhibits. 

`Remember that a painting before becoming a favourite theme, a nude or a specific anecdote is just a flat surface covered with colours in a certain order.` – Maurice Denis‘I look at nature and write my own song about it.` – Ivon Hitchens

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