Kaja Norum Draws a Male Nude from the Back in Graphite | The Cave of Apelles

Near Oslo in a little coastal town we find the studio space of the paintress Kaja Norum.
Apart from a three year study period with Odd Nerdrum, she is mostly self-taught with a basis in techniques from the Renaissance and Baroque.
In her own words, she aims for images with a timeless quality, currently under the influence of the French naturalist painter Jules Bastien-Lepage.
“Shame” is non-existent in Norum’s vocabulary. The human body has her prime attention, in graphite, charcoal, and oil — a celebration of flesh and sensuality.
Norum courteously agreed to do a graphite drawing session from a live model, demonstrating her sensuous abilities.

▶️ Full video (1 hour 29 min): https://www.patreon.com/posts/88290353
🎵 Full audio: https://caveofapelles.com/podcast

In this video you will learn about:

(In the beginning)

  • Drawing with a light touch
  • Getting the head & general contour line
  • Looking for abstract shapes
  • Looking at the darkest shadows first

(In general)

  • A balanced imbalance in the pose
  • Making the head somewhat smaller
  • How shadows typically behave
  • Advantages of talking to the model
  • Using photo as a tool…?
  • Seeing rhythms in the forms
  • Dealing with small changes in the pose
  • Using different pencil numbers – and your finger

Special thanks to Christian Ringnes and Christensen Private Kitsch Museum for giving us the opportunity to record their works by Kaja Norum.

Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 – I. Allegro affettuoso
Performed by European Archive (In the Public Domain)

Video by Bork Nerdrum

Fergus Ryan
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"