When nominated to be her school’s homecoming queen, Tran Nguyen had a decision to make: come up with a “cheesy propaganda poster,” selling herself to her peers, or do something a bit more real. “I livened my poster up with a whimsical female figure,” she says. “Her anatomy wasn’t perfect, but it was a ground-breaking piece for me.”
For Tran, anatomical accuracy has never been the ultimate goal to figure painting. She exaggerates and stylises the human form with the aim of, “complementing the concept or composition, juxtaposing static figures with quirky environments.”
Figure drawing helped the artist improve immensely when starting out. “Drawing from observation, from life, is like learning a language in its native country,” Tran says.
But it’s not all been plain sailing. “When I was a kid, it was always the nose I had most difficulty depicting, and it’s still one of my weak points today.”