Many artists copy the works of masters, not only to build their drawing and painting skills, but also to learn and understand the techniques used and choices made by these artists. By copying a great artist's work, you learn a wealth of fine points that you would never see otherwise. On this page are drawings and paintings that I produced as copies from master works.
Copy after Annibale Carraci (1560-1609), A male nude seated with his back turned
2016, Conte on paper, 12 x 9
I love these Renaissance drawings of the human form. Note how the contour that outlines the body is made up of such complex curves and how the core shadow snakes down the center of the form, defining it, expressing the turn of the torso, and providing the drawing with unity. I drew this with a variety of red and brown conte sticks on heavy paper coated with acrylic ground for pastels. I have this framed on the wall of my studio. The antique-style frame adds to the effect.
Copy after Michelangelo 1530, Study for the head of Leda
Red colored pencil on paper, 8 x 9
Copy after Hopper 1924, Funnel of trawler
2013, watercolor on paper, 9 x 12
Hopper is perhaps best known for his oil painting, but he also did a large number of watercolors. This painting uses a complimentary color scheme based on yellow-orange, its complement blue-purple, and many greyed-out shades of each that can be obtained by mixing them to varying degrees. Copying this work was a great exercise in mixing these two complements to obtain the correct ranges of intensity in color while also capturing the correct ranges of light and dark.
Copy after Caillebotte 1878 Vue de toits (Effet de neige)
2013, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20
Caillebotte was a French Impressionist. He painted this scene of snow-covered Paris rooftops in oil, but I made this copy in acrylic. There is something about city rooftops that I find so interesting to draw and paint.
Copy after Klee 1936, New Harmony
Acrylic on canvas panel, 11 x 14
Paul Klee was an early 20th century abstract expressionist. I checked out a book of his art from the library and this piece spoke to me. It showed a mastery of color relationships in a very simple abstract composition. I decided I would try to match his colors using acrylic, mainly as an exercise to sharpen my abilities to mix color. It took several hours of experimenting and I was pleased with the results. However, a digital photograph of a painting often does not reproduce the colors well, as is the case here.
Copy after David Gray, Black Hat
Oil on stretched canvas, 8 x 10
Gray is a present-day painter. His use of light and shadow is masterful here, using the full range from the brightest white to the darkest dark. His painting was in color but I did this copy in a monochrome using only burnt umber and white.