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View Poll Results: Do you like coping old masters?
No, I never made a single copy 29 37.18%
No, I did some copies but I don't like it 3 3.85%
I like it, and I made less than 10 35 44.87%
I like it, I did less than 100 11 14.10%
I like it, I did more than 100 0 0%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-06-2010, 06:10 AM
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Mario V Mario V is offline
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Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Do you like copying old masters?

Did you know that during 1850s and 1860s Edgar Degas made over 700 copies of the Renaissance and Classical art by Italian and French masters?

I very much like coping old masters and I was wondering how much and how ofter other artist do the same.

If you have some copy that you would like to share with the rest of us, you are welcome to post it in this thread.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:44 AM
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Re: Do you like coping old masters?

Hi Mario. I have never copied an old master work although I've copied a couple of paintings from magazines in class. Not that I don't like it, just haven't done it. BUT, I think I should. I'm sure there's a lot to learn from copying in that way.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:57 AM
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Re: Do you like coping old masters?

Hello Mario,

I think it's a great idea, though I haven't copied any of the old masters. Degas would be my first choice, followed by Mary Cassat, obviously because they did such beautiful pastels, and I just can't seem to get enough pastel!

I have copied many paintings done by current modern day masters in the pastel medium, which have taught me quite a lot. My landscape work definitely progressed much faster because I copied many pieces from my favorite landscape artists' books. I was able to see how they achieved certain results by actually disecting their work. It was quite the experience, almost like taking a personal workshop. I had quite a lot of flops, but many came out quite acceptable. I still do it to improve my technique. These paintings are for me, as I would never show or sell them. I have one framed and hanging in my family room. My philosophy is, there is always something new I can learn, and to be open to any and all ideas, even if it's "way outside the box". Sometimes, those are the best ones.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:49 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

I don't do it often, but I love doing it when I can. I might start looking into doing some more copies of old masters now that I'm getting better at drawing -- just went through another skill leap with my latest two or three months of "sketches and studies" as goals in the Goal Post. Why not copy masters among all those sketches?

I love Bougereau and have never tried copying any of his figures, but I wanted to. Bougereau's nudes are so ethereal and magical that I really want to see if I can capture that style. Maybe not in the same medium, I might do some of these copies of masters in watercolor pencils to keep them in my sketchbooks rather than in the stack of things that might get framed and sold. It wouldn't be fair to sell copies of masters...

Unless you did something really interesting with it like Andrew Hemingway's "Homage" series. He did still lifes of a silver antique salt cellar with classical paintings reflecting on it curved and reversed. They are very cool and very original, that's an elegant hommage. As if he had these great paintings in his home and happened to paint what was near them, treating the master's painting as a still life subject.

I just got the June Pastel Journal with an article on his paintings as a modern realism master -- and it shows one basic thing. Copying the masters is a darn good way to learn great realism. They didn't rely on cameras and didn't have the distortions of cameras, they observed and studying their paintings teaches observation.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:22 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Does copying a beautiful Richard McKinley pastel into oil count? hehe
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:32 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Hi Mario - I saw your Cezanne study in the other forum - looks great! I used to do a lot more masterwork studies in pastel but I haven't had time lately. Here's one I did from a couple of years ago. I have a couple more but I am once again having problems with the uploader. It doesn't recognize the Safari browser for some reason. You have to click on the link.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/i...ugin_study.jpg
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:14 PM
Phil Coleman Phil Coleman is offline
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Here is one of mine. A copy yes! but i still have it displayed on my wall.

This was perhaps only the third pastel i had attempted but i gained so much by attempting to duplicate it as close as possible. I did use a little artist licence by changing the foreground girl for another from one of his other paintings.



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Old 05-09-2010, 05:41 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Phil, that is so great!

I love seeing masters' paintings copied in different mediums, Bonnie. I think that sometimes helps both mediums. In fact, most of the ones I copy will tend to be in a medium other than the artist's original medium, sometimes what the artist used is expensive and difficult to get. I copied a Leonardo da Vinci sketch that was in silverpoint in pencil and it was great practice.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:13 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

I have not yet done paintings of old master's works, but that is on my "to do" list. I did do copies of master's drawings back when I was taking a figure drawing class in college and sketching daily; in fact, we were encouraged to do so, if I recall.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:35 AM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

The closest I came to this was an oil painting in the style of American Regionalist, Thomas Hart Benton ...Hey, it was the '70's, gimme a break. My Grandmama proudly (not) hung it in a back room where no one would see it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:51 AM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

degas... love him. i have learned lots doing copies from don's portrait and figure workshop!!! ginger
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:19 AM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Hi Mario, I think it's a really good learning experience to copy old master's paintings, no matter what medium they have originally been painted with. I really enjoy copying the impressionists and have tried copying about four in the last few years, and seeing this thread has reminded me of the advantages of it. The two below I particularly enjoyed painting, one is a Degas and the other was an oil painting on a calendar I had a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the artist (old age moment!) I threw the calendar away and have been searching for the picture ever since to see who painted it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:15 AM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

HI Mario,
THe first time I ever used pastels was in an art class for an assignment where we had to copy a work by a master in the medium that was used by him/her. Copying Degas' "Woman combing her hair" hooked me on pastels as I had never appreciated how powerful an image could be made with them until then. I used the result of that for my wetcanvas 'avatar' as it started me on the 'dusty road'... its tiny but you can see it above.

What I learned from that experience is that you can focus on the application of the pastels, the strokes, the juxtaposition of colour, unimpeded by struggles over composition or drawing.... it is a wonderful learning experience.

Having said that, I don't do it often. I probably should do more. When time is so precious, it is hard to do it all... however, my own work would probably benefit from it.

Pat
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:17 PM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Hi there!

Great subject!

I do like copying old master's although I've only done it a couple times so far.

In school (I'm going back to school for Interior Design, but we have to take a LOT of art foundations classes!) there is an assignment everyone gets every quarter: it's called "historical cut and paste." The idea is to take an old master's painting and then put something new in it--maybe make someone roll by on a skateboard, for instance, or be talking on a cell phone, or insert a cultural figure from the last few decades. I guess I sort of blasphemed Van Gogh by making Ernie and Bert inhabit his iconic bedroom:


I also tried "Young Peasant Woman Drinking HEr Cafe Au Lait" by Pissaro. This was for a drawing class and we weren't allow to use colors, which I understand much more than line. So it's hard for me to draw--esp in the past--without color. But it was a good learning experience anyway:



Thanks for introducting the topic!
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:14 AM
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Re: Do you like copying old masters?

Hi there, I love to copy the old masters. I'm a big fan of drawing and am always trying to copy DaVinci's etc. I recently studied a book on the great artist Ingres and was so inspired by him that I decided to do a copy of his 'Male Torso 1800' see below). I believe his copy was in oil but I've never worked in oils so I did mine in pastel pencils which took me over a week to do! It did teach me a lot about colouring skin tones though.

I also did a copy of Seurat's 'La Grande Jatte' in coloured pencil. This took me over 10 days to complete as dry coloured pencil take a lot of layering to get the depth of colour. I think my actual drawing of the figures was a painstaking 6 hrs to do! However I really love this pic and drew it to put on my own wall.

Studying from the old master's can surely only improve our works Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot of pastellists other than Degas, Cassat to copy from as most seemed to prefer oil. But just learning to draw or just work out a Master's composition no matter what their medium can only be beneficial to us.






Last edited by Swindanna : 06-10-2010 at 08:19 AM.
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