Hi guys,

I did this copy/interpretation of Michelangelos painting in the sistine chapel in Rome.

This is my very first go on painting humans, I rather do landscapes (@tobi_raw_art), but I thought I give it a go...

I think this painting has many points of weakness and strength, but I'd like to know what you think, and which area you like the most and least.

Oil on canvas: 1,2m by 0,6m in size



  • Excellent for a first go at humans, and quite a tough subject to attempt.  I’m sure you learned a lot from making this painting.  It is similar to my attempts at painting people.  Mine are stuck in the middle, needing either tighter brushwork and blending, or much looser and broader brushwork and paint application.  I tend not to be a fan of realism, so I would suggest opening up your brushwork.  But it’s a very nice painting.
  • You have the feel of the original.  Tough subject to do.  We’re you laying on your back when you painted it the way Michaelangelo did?😀
  • This a good first effort at painting the human form. We recognize the original immediately.  :)
  • GTO said:
    You have the feel of the original.  Tough subject to do.  We’re you laying on your back when you painted it the way Michaelangelo did?😀
    haha, no, unfortunately not, maybe I should have done that :D:D

  • @TobiRau
    Why did you sign it?
    because I wanted to mark it as my piece of art :-)

  • @KingstonFineArt  I've seen copy signed by the name of artist who made the copy, followed by "after Sargent" words. Would that be ok?
  • That's the right way, @ArtGal
  • edited August 25
    Is it worth pointing out that this is not really  a study of humans, anyway?   Technically, it could be argued, you have yet to do a painting of a human?!!

    Since this is a copy, there is no point discussing much. other than how well, or badly you were able to copy  colour and shape.
    The composition has already been decided by another and, therefore, has no reflection on you.
    The basic hues and values have already been decided by another and, therefore, have no reflection on you.
    That basically just leaves shapes.   How well did you do at creating the same shapes someone else did in the image you used as your reference?
    Of course, when the original was done, it was not done on a flat surface as you are attempting.    The complexity of how the distortions of the curves of the ceiling to the shapes had to be worked out in advance.    This should never look the way the image of a painting on a flat wall would look.

    I think you already know which shapes you have got right and which could do with reshaping.   I think you chose a challenging subject, and it will have been a great learning curve for you.    Perhaps you could use it as a benchmark and do one every few years to see how you progress and how your style for this sort of work changes?   It would be an interesting experiment.

    It had not occurred to me to sign a copy.    Perhaps I would have written a note to myself on the back with the date.  Will anyone ever see it?    If I were to do a copy, it would never be seen, instead either filed with other "workings"  or painted over when I was short a canvas.    Perhaps if you want people to see it you should do as Tassieguy suggests?  Or, not sig it, and if anyone asks, you can use the opportunity to pass your newfound knowledge on to someone else?

    Hope these musings helps?
  • You can sign a parady of spoof. But then is probably considered illustration. 
  • edited August 26
    It is not an infringement of copyright to make a copy of a another artists work even if you sign it. But it could be an infringement if you try to make money from it by selling the copy or otherwise using it for profit if copyright is still in force. So, that's the copyright issue. 

    Making copies of masterworks is a great way of learning which has been going on since humans started making art. When signing a copy you have made of another painting, it has been considered good practice for centuries to include with your signature the words, "After Sargent",  or whoever the original artist was. So, @ArtGal was quite right.

    So, sign your copies if you wish but follow convention and make sure attribution is given with the signature. Even though it is only a convention and there is no law against signing a copy without attribution, if you don't provide attribution the art police might get all judgmental and call you out over it even though they know nothing about copyright law. 
  • edited August 26
    @tassieguy,  “art police” ?

    Here in the UK that would be a Constable

  • Let''s grade this. Is it a good copy? Does it need improvement? Where?

    Be fair. It's a beginning. The anatomy need better understanding whichcan be learned bey practice of doing it again.

    The power of composition. Again more study more practice. 

    The idea of copying from masterpieces is to improve ourselves. Today we have such great high res reference material it's easy to see the originals.  The composition, color structure, human anatomy.
    In this case the etherial floating of God and his minions. Pretty powerful painting. Why? How?

    I say a good first sketch. My old life teachers are whispering in my ear. Do it again. Focus on the power of the composition.

  • edited August 26
    Now that the silly copyright issue has been dealt with (there are errors of law in the link @Kingston gave) I'd just like to reiterate what I said above: this a good first effort at painting the human form. Better than my first attempt. And probably better than @KingstonFineArt's first attempt. Yes there are some minor issues with form, value and colour but these things improve with study and practice. I'm sure that @TobiRau could improve upon his first effort if he chose to. But it's still a good first effort whatever "grade[s]" @KingstonFineArt wants to give it. 
  • Well thanks for all your comments and hints to this "signing" subject

    I really appreciate that...

    I won't redo this painting in the near future, I have another motive I'd rather redo maybe every few years, where I am more motivated...

Sign In or Register to comment.