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COPIED PAINTINGS - Studies we do of paintings by someone else

GaryGary -
edited February 2013 in Post Your Paintings
Garry suggested this thread and other members liked the idea. Since Garry is in flight status, we'll get it going and look forward to his posts when he gets back to the States and gets a bit of rest.

We all learn a lot by doing studies (basically trying to copy a painting by another artist): color mixing, color combinations, effective compositions, variation in use of different edges, using different brushwork, etc.

Please, make absolutely sure you credit the artist who's painting you did the study of!


I've done lots of studies trying to become a better artist. This is my favorite landscape study....it is my attempt to copy "Trees of Ireland" by Scott Christensen. Didn't do a very good job copying it but learned a lot and liked the outcome...it's framed and hanging in my studio (which is the only place my studies end up!).

24 x 25 inches, oils on mdf panel
mycRonnatjsstudioaniaAmritjackriosvalentinopnwyder

Comments

  • dencaldencal -
    edited February 2013
    Gary

    Looks good to me.
    For this to be of value, I think you need to post the original image adjacent.
    So we can see what you did well and what was a problem.

    I had a look on Google images and I reckon your water and reflections look much better.

    Denis
    Garymarieb
  • brilliant work! Gary I love how you kept the sky de-saturated. Seems like most skies are too strong for me. Martin, fantastic copy.
  • This is so good Martin! Almost makes me want to learn to draw and that takes a lot!
    Martin_J_Cranetjs
  • edited February 2013
    Thanks, Liz! Working with soft charcoal is very similar to painting. I used sponges, fingers, kneaded erasers, you name it. Its a very forgiving medium.

    M
  • Wonderful drawing Martin! How large is your drawing? Do you know the size of Sargent's oil version?
  • thanks, Gary! Mine is 12x16. Sargent's was 54x26. Here's his watercolor, plus a hand study that he did. imageimage
    cynthiagwilson
  • Super impressed Martin that you were able to get that much detail in your drawing given the size difference...well done!
    Martin_J_Crane
  • Gary and Martin, these are soooo good!
    Martin_J_Crane
  • Where do you get your copy of an old master's to work from? In a younger life I had bought some prints from the gift shop at a museum gallery. Pictures in books are too small for my eyesight now, and prints off the computer are too inexact in color and vibrancy.
  • I am so in awe of both of these studies! Gary and Martin these are superb in every way. Question - did either of you come away noticing something about the way the piece was done by the artist that you hadn't noticed before you started painting?

    Once again these are just great! ^:)^
    studioania
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited February 2013
    Gary said:

    @David_Quinn_Carder Note: Tried to go back and add a copy of the original painting for comparison per the suggestion by Denis. Now both pics are gone and I can't seem to get them back within this post. How do I fix?

    Huh… this is news to me, but apparently when you edit comments you can't add attachments. Even I can't do it as an administrator. I have no idea why… I'll submit a bug report to the forum software people.

    Let's just combine the original post and the first comment into the original post. Send an email to [email protected] with ALL the text you want in the original post and attach ALL the photos you want attached. I will then delete the first comment here, and then edit the original post, replacing all the current text with the text you email me plus the attachments.

    Does that make sense?
  • Yes it does David...thanks!
  • Thanks, TJ. That's a great question. In this painting I was amazed at how much variation he got within the higher values, and was struck by how strategiacally and sparingly he used hard edges. I also wanted to use toned paper because I heard that he worked in both directions from the middle tone, so its possible that was the technique he used here.

    Grandma, we had a framed print of this painting that I used for a reference. I'm an old book nut so most of my old master copies are from them. I do print from a computer, but since I was drawing using a grey scale, color wasn't an issue.

    M
    tjsAmrit
  • As far as color and books are concerned, books are probably the worst at faithful rendition of color. There are lots of times I've compared the same painting in different books and couldn't believe the discrepancy--huge.
    edward
  • I'm going to try something like this ... Gary confesses as you are a forger like Eric Hebborn ;) ???!!!???
    GaryMartin_J_Crane
  • tjs said:

    Question - did either of you come away noticing something about the way the piece was done by the artist that you hadn't noticed before you started painting?

    Good question TJ! I found the opposite of Martin...it was the variation in the lower values. Not only in the trees but in the grass along the marshland. I didn't come close to getting that right. Christensen's painting looks (and is) much more detailed and has greater depth to it which comes from these subtle, beautiful differences largely in the shadows of his painting. Another lesson for me was to give myself a chance to get that kind of subtle detail you really have to do a larger painting (at least for this kind of landscape) to give myself space to paint those subtle differences (hope that makes sense!).

  • The other thing I noticed - but which didn't affect me because I wasn't using color - is the way he modeled forms in many areas through temperature changes rather than value changes.

    M
    Gary
  • tjstjs -
    edited February 2013

    Gary said:

    @David_Quinn_Carder Note: Tried to go back and add a copy of the original painting for comparison per the suggestion by Denis. Now both pics are gone and I can't seem to get them back within this post. How do I fix?

    Huh… this is news to me, but apparently when you edit comments you can't add attachments. Even I can't do it as an administrator. I have no idea why… I'll submit a bug report to the forum software people.

    Let's just combine the original post and the first comment into the original post. Send an email to [email protected] with ALL the text you want in the original post and attach ALL the photos you want attached. I will then delete the first comment here, and then edit the original post, replacing all the current text with the text you email me plus the attachments.

    Does that make sense?
    David this happened to me a couple times around Halloween. And no body would believe me!!! :-j Everyone could see my painting but me so I called it my ghost painting!

    I figured it was a just a bug in the programming in maybe the re-directs after it's been edited or something??? I had bookmarked my post. I had also edited the original post just before. With all the possiblities of how people can log on or return to the thread? I think an image variable (img) whatcha call it thingy might be missing? Cause once I hit HOME and refreshed the screen, re-clicked on my thread the photo was back up. If I didn't refresh even from my email updates, my image continued to be missing. Just a little cliche.

    It's happened a couple other times as well even with some other members threads. Who knows maybe a quotation mark was left out somewhere in one of the lines. Not something I am into so please excuse my lame explanation! :-t
  • tjstjs -
    edited February 2013
    mnsrc said:

    Thanks, TJ. That's a great question. In this painting I was amazed at how much variation he got within the higher values, and was struck by how strategiacally and sparingly he used hard edges. I also wanted to use toned paper because I heard that he worked in both directions from the middle tone, so its possible that was the technique he used here.



    I did a large study of Lady Agnew and noticed the same things. I latter read regarding the values that Sargent as well as other painters started their paintings all in mid-tones first but then again who really knows! Supposedly he then layed in the darks and lightest lights. I really noticed this in her sash. And the edges where pretty lost. It seemed like (at least for me in the Lady Agnew) he kept the values of the edges pretty close. What seemed to seperate them at times was just a change of color? But not always!!!

    For me it helped to study his teacher's paintings as well. I think his name was Duran. I kept a file and copied all my info I read. I'll see if I can find the disc I saved it on. It was so interesting.

    The thing is I had done so much reading before but it really didn't get into my brain until I did the study

    GaryMartin_J_Crane
  • Gary said:

    tjs said:

    Question - did either of you come away noticing something about the way the piece was done by the artist that you hadn't noticed before you started painting?

    Good question TJ! I found the opposite of Martin...it was the variation in the lower values. Not only in the trees but in the grass along the marshland. I didn't come close to getting that right. Christensen's painting looks (and is) much more detailed and has greater depth to it which comes from these subtle, beautiful differences largely in the shadows of his painting. Another lesson for me was to give myself a chance to get that kind of subtle detail you really have to do a larger painting (at least for this kind of landscape) to give myself space to paint those subtle differences (hope that makes sense!).

    That is so interesting Gary! Did he keep his dark areas really thin and the lighter areas heavier with paint?

  • here are some notes I found concerning conversations with Sargent himself regarding his technique. Really fascinating! http://www.goodbrush.com/misc/painting_lessons/sargent_notes.pdf
    tjscynthiagwilsonGary
  • mnsrc said:

    P.S. sorry for the big image. If you click it it gets slightly smaller.

    Actually it just sizes to fit the browser window, so it depends on the size of the viewers monitor. Clicking again let's you zoom in to full size. Nothing wrong with big images!
  • mnsrc said:

    here are some notes I found concerning conversations with Sargent himself regarding his technique. Really fascinating! http://www.goodbrush.com/misc/painting_lessons/sargent_notes.pdf

    Thank you so much Martin! This is excellent. I'm going to print it off and keep it in my book of Sargent. It's really wonderful. Thank you again!

    8->
    Martin_J_Crane
  • Gary and Martin - you guys a SO good.
    TJ - I love your Lady Agnew!

    I have a question. When you paint did you do a colour group split when making your colours? Sometimes you get all sorts of colours ontop of other ones, so is it a case of matching the master copy square inch by square inch?
    Martin_J_Crane
  • GaryGary -
    edited February 2013
    Question asked by TJ about Christensen's painting: " Did he keep his dark areas really thin and the lighter areas heavier with paint?"

    He does TJ...and also his dark areas seem to be almost all vertical strokes which, as you know, helps eliminate any glare ridges.
  • GaryGary -
    edited February 2013
    Thank you Amrit! When it comes to small areas were there seems to be a "colours ontop of other ones", I use several of methods depending on close examination of the original = me making a guess! First is to just do just what Mark says, mix the colors and put it where you see it.

    Second, lots of times the same effect can be created by paying close attention to the 'main' color. I find if I loosely mix the 'main color' I get this affect your speaking of. By loosely mixing I mean leaving visible bits of the colors used to make the main color, not mixing so thoroughly that each individual color in the mix disappears.

    Here's a third way. This is really fun just to take a scrape piece of canvas or canvas paper and play with until you develop a 'feel' for doing it...actually quite easy. I'll give you two variations. First variation: mix two colors, put the first color on the right side of your brush and put the second color on the same side of your brush but on the left side = two colors both on the 'down' (canvas) side of the brush. Then make your stroke! You can get some really interesting edge variations between the two colors if you slightly 'wiggle' your brush as you make the stroke. The second variation is to put color one on one side (the down side or canvas side) of your brush and color two on the opposite side of your brush (the 'up' side or side not in contact with the canvas). As you make the stroke you can get different effects by changing your brush pressure. If the pressure is light, you basically only get the 'down side' color. The more pressure, the the color on the side 'up side' comes thorough. With a bit of practice you can vary the amount these two colors loosely mix from very little to a whole bunch. When your really wanting to play....mix three colors and use the two variations I just described together! Now your really getting color on top of color all in one stroke!

    Lastly, I often get the feeling the master artist is literally cleaning out his brush as they are changing colors. Let's say they have painted a stroke or two in red, their brush is basically out of paint.....so they look over to a green area where perhaps they want to tone it down a bit, so they simply drag the brush over the green. They tone down the green and leave bits of red giving you this 'color on top of color' look.

    You really do need to leave these types of brush stokes alone as much as possible so as not to blend the little pieces of color together....and, depending on the colors, to avoid making your final colors muddy or chalky. So practice first!

    Sorry....didn't mean to get this post so long...stream of thought stuff! :)
    Martin_J_CraneAmritopnwyder
  • dencaldencal -
    edited February 2013
    Gary said:


    Lastly, I often get the feeling the master artist is literally cleaning out his brush as they are changing colors. Let's say they have painted a stroke or two in red, their brush is basically out of paint.....so they look over to a green area where perhaps they want to tone it down a bit, so they simply drag the brush over the green. They tone down the green and leave bits of red giving you this 'color on top of color' look.

    Gary

    Within five minutes of reading this post, partly quoted, I picked up my current library book Techniques of the Great Masters of Art (Quantum Books London 2004) to read the entry on Velazquez p52 which in part said: "As he painted he frequently wiped his brush clean on the canvas, which he later covered over as can be seen in his early pictures." I will watch out for any other such comments.

    Denis


    Martin_J_CranejackriosGaryAmrit
  • Cool Denis.... thanks!
  • Wow Gary, thanks for sharing that! I remember that from Bob Ross, but he used a 2 inch brush. In fact I tried that with my background on Sandy. It does have a lovely effect and gave it a more painterly feel and I have to admit it's probably the most fun and creatively unknown part of painting for me as I get to experiment on the canvas. Fantastic that the masters used it very deliberately.
    tjs
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