The art of Michael Leonard


Against the Glass.

British artist Michael Leonard received a passing mention here some time ago for his work as an illustrator in the 1970s. Since that time he’s concentrated on establishing himself as a portraitist of considerable repute, with a painting of the Queen and Spark the Corgi hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. These fantastic pencil drawings show a more homoerotic side of his work, part of a large series of nude (or near-nude) studies in which beautiful men (and also a number of women) are perfectly rendered. I’ve always liked pure pencil drawing, the challenges of doing it to this standard are considerable, as are the pleasures of seeing such a successful application of the simplest of media. The compositions work really well, tight and often cropped to concentrate the attention. Leonard applies a similar approach in his paintings, some of which replicate or echo the pencil works. I prefer the pencils but then I have a predilection for monochome art. You can judge his paintings for yourself here.


Twisting Torsos.


On the Steps.

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