Copy Famous Paintings – Vincent van Gogh

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What is it?

The Starry Night“, 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh

How was this painting done?

Van Gogh uses a low eye level as a compositional device to display one of the most dramatic skies in the history of painting. The low eye level divides this painting into two symbolic areas:

The Heavenly Sky – the large area above the eye level creates the space that is needed to display the convulsive power of a starlit heaven.  Van Gogh does this by surrounding the night stars in an orb of light.

The Humble Town – the small area below the eye level compresses the town into a respectful position at the bottom of the picture.  The houses in the distance are lit up in a warm glow of artificial light.

Why Should We Care?

Vincent van Gogh lived more than 115 years ago, and yet his everlasting artwork is still influencing the way we view beauty, persona, individuality, and style in art. Van Gogh found the sacred in the common and his unique life has inspired millions to become active in art. Artists continue to copy the style Van Gogh created over one hundred years ago.

Where can I find more paintings like it?

Similarities can be seen in the work of Claude Monet, especially “Impression, Sunrise“, 1872 and Henri Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté, 1904.

Meditate, relax and enjoy

There can be no mistakes in making this painting.  Everything ends up as it should be.  Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself, here’s how:

You will need

  • a small canvas, 30cm x 40cm is a good size
  • tubes of primary acrylic colours, blue, red and yellow plus white
  • a dark watercolour crayon
  • soft nylon paint brushes, (small, medium and a little larger)
  • water in an old container
  • a rag or disposable cloth
  • two or three hours

Tips on the Process

  • prime the canvas first, otherwise, just a wash and dry with a towel
  • print the photo you want to work from, measure and cut into quarters to make your drawing in a grid
  • turn the original photo upside down to make the drawing
  • use a dark coloured water colour crayon for your drawing
  • correct drawing right-side up from the original
  • erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
  • it is okay for the watercolour crayon mark to bleed into the painting
  • everything is easily painted over with acrylics
  • paint in the background first
  • The painting will not look great at the initial blocking in stage, stay with it for a pleasant surprise
  • try not to use paint directly from the tube; experiment with how to mix colours
  • acrylics dry darker than the mixed colour

The Drawing Process

Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing first.  This is just a framework to place the figure on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.

Otherwise, you may use my drawing below.  I suggest you ask your copy shop to print the PDF below onto a canvas and proceed to make your own unique painting.  Otherwise, you can print the copy on to good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it.  It’s your painting after all!

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I made a post after Vincent van Gogh on this site some years ago and it is also suitable for beginners.

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night, accessed 29/10/2016

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

0512 006

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi 

Copy Famous Paintings – Gustav Klimt

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What is it?

The Kiss“, Gustav Klimt 1907-1908, Oil and gold leaf on canvas.

How was the painting done?

The painting is done in flat blocks of colour with an emphasis on design and influences from the Japanese art of Ukiyo-e.  The male figure is shown as square and rectangular and the female with soft lines and floral patterns.  Klimt has combined visual arts with ornament on a square canvas in oil and applied layers of gold leaf.

Why should we care?

Klimt went against his academic training to create his own eclectic, decorative, erotic and fantastic style.  He combined influences from the Arts and Craft MovementArt Nouveau and Japonisme.  There had been prior opposition to art which had been considered “decorative“.  Klimt was brave enough to challenge those beliefs and we today, are the lucky beneficiaries.

Where can I find more paintings like this?

You will see similar decorative patterning in the work of Egon Schiele and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.

Meditate, relax and enjoy

There can be no mistakes in making this painting.  Everything ends up as it should be.  Take the luxury of “time out” to recreate this fabulous painting in acrylics yourself, here’s how:

 You will need

  • a small canvas, 30cm x 40cm is a good size
  • tubes of primary acrylic colours, blue, red and yellow plus white
  • a dark watercolour crayon
  • 3 soft nylon paint brushes, (small, medium and a little larger)
  • water in an old container
  • a rag or disposable cloth
  • an hour or two

Tips on the Process

  • prime the canvas first, otherwise, just a wash and dry with a towel
  • print the photo you want to work from, measure and cut into quarters to make your drawing in a grid
  • turn the original photo upside down to make the drawing
  • use a dark coloured water colour crayon for your drawing
  • correct drawing right-side up from the original
  • erase crayon easily with a damp cloth
  • it is okay for the watercolour crayon mark to bleed into the painting
  • everything is easily painted over with acrylics
  • paint in the background first
  • try not to use paint directly from the tube; experiment with how to mix colours
  • create a perfect skin tone by blending warm yellow, warm red, a dot of cool blue and lots of white, experiment first
  • acrylics dry darker than the mixed colour

The Drawing Process

Turn your photo upside down and draw the space around the drawing first.  This is just a framework to place the figures on the page and you can easily correct right-side up with the dampened cloth as I have done below.  I mostly worked upside down so I was concerned only with shapes.

Otherwise, you may use my drawing below.  I suggest you ask your copy shop to print the PDF below onto a canvas and proceed to make your own unique painting.  Otherwise, you can print the copy on to good quality paper, paint the picture and frame it.  It’s your painting after all!

Finished Piece

klimt-the-kiss

Image from https://www.belvedere.at/gustav-klimt, accessed 12/10/2016

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

3.12 Reverse Psychology 50cm x 37cm

“The seed for your next art work lies embedded in the imperfections of your current piece.  These perceived imperfections are  non-judgmental guides to matters you may like to take further. David Bayles .

 

 

Copying Great Masters as an Exercise – Edgar Degas Amrita Sher Gil, Pierre Bonnard

 

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Above is my copy of the Edgar Degas work titled “Combing the Hair” (La Coiffure), 1896 (top).  I really liked working with these different tones of orange and the contrast of the purple in the dress of the servant girl on the right really tied everything together.

 

Brides Toilet

 

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The next one copied was a painting by Amrita Sher Gil titled, “Bride’s Toilet” (top).  I love the abstracted figures, the composition and the colours used in this work. It has a mystical other worldly look that I found impossible to capture.

I had some difficulty with this work and in the end, went my own way and did not look at the original at all.  My copy does not have the mood of what seems to be a candle lit room as seen in the original.  Copying this work helped me to accept various aspects of my figures that were out of proportion.

 

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The third one copied was “Wild Flowers”, 1916 by Pierre Bonnard

The unusual shape of the vase, the use of blue and brown together and the red reflected in the background and flowers combine to make this a great painting.  The subject is simple yet it speaks of majesty and wonder.

My copy is on the right.  I used potato cuts for the flowers to get some random shapes and went over them in detail later.  For the stems I used string dipped in acrylic paint and pressed into the paper.

Copying great masters can be fun.  You can learn a lot by by imagining what the artist may have been seeing and feeling all those years ago.  These three copies were painted in acrylic on paper.

Courage – Daily Therapy

Jose Duff

It seems fear is not erased by courage. More often than not, courage challenges and transcends fear.

Courage can be wearing the stuff you like to wear no matter what everybody thinks or says.  Courage can equal being who you really are….if you allow it!

Courage – Everyday Therapy

My Identity

Your being courageous can be an inspiration to others, perhaps even the inspiration needed to change lives. We sometimes underestimate the power of our example to others.

Drawing: It’s a Matter of Placement – Finding the Mid-Point

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Placing the subject correctly on the page once created huge problems for me and I can remember my teachers at art school repeating “don’t make little drawings in the middle of the page” or “fill up the page.” Somehow these statements fell on deaf ears and students (including myself) continued off and on to put our drawings all over the place.
Here are some images of incorrectly placed drawings.

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The first is cut off at the ankles, the second too small compared to the size of the paper and the third has the lower part of the figure bunched up to fit on the page.

Today I will talk about how I saved myself a world of trouble later on in my drawing by planning the placement of the subject first. It is best to be relaxed about this process so as not to get bogged down with detail and thus set down a tight tone for the drawing. The motto is “whatever!”

A shape is so much more manageable as two halves and this is at the heart of how I place my subject correctly on the page.

The half above the midpoint must fit into the top 50% of your drawing page and half below must fit into the lower 50% of the page.

Most art instructional books advise me to do a sighting with a pencil. The way to do this is to align the top of the pencil with the model’s head and guess the mid-point.

I don’t see the purpose of this and since I’m guessing anyway prefer to do use my eye only.  Here’s the deal:

  • Check out your subject (whether in a photo, real life object or figure) and estimate half the height with your eye. What do you see at that spot, is it an elbow, hip, or another marker?
  • Then go ahead and estimate the half-way height point of your drawing page, then make a dot right there!
  • I usually make a mark around this dot showing a little of what I see at the half-point of the subject (elbow, hip or other marker) and commence my drawing from there. In my drawing of the snowboarder above, the half point was at the left-hand side of the man’s body at his waist.
  • Next, above and below this mark, establish where you want the drawing to end at the top and bottom of the page (usually quite close to the edge.) Mark a dot at the points, one near the top and one near the bottom to represent the extremes of the figure.
  • I usually start drawing from the marked mid-point. The dots at the top and bottom of the page tell me how far up and down I can go to keep the drawing placed squarely on the page.

In the case of a horizontal drawing, it helps to guess the halfway point both horizontally and vertically as below.

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I was not too accurate in my drawing at the top of the page as you can see.  The distances from the drawing to the sides of the page are not even.   The left hand edge of the snowboard and the right-hand edge of the man’s helmet were the extreme widths of the figure in this case.  Oh well, I am happy with the drawing whichever way.

Anyhow, you will be very surprised at how accurate your eye is in establishing two manageable halves.

Now your boundaries are set and you are ready to proceed with your loose handwriting.

I found this really great, helpful drawing blog by a self-taught artist named Paul from the UK.  No one beats him for encouragement.  Here is the link: http://www.learning-to-see.co.uk/drawings

Courage – Daily Therapy for Artists

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The simple person does not take himself too seriously or too tragically. He goes on his merry way,  his heart light, his soul at peace, without a goal, without nostalgia, without impatience.  Andre Comte-Sponville

What is a Venus Andyomene Pose?

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The words Venus Anadyomene are from the Greek language and mean “Venus Rising From the Sea.” This classic pose uses the simplification of lines in order to gain the greatest possible expressiveness of the female form.  Academic and avant-garde works all show how the pose displays the female form all the better for the viewers without them realizing it.

The Venus Anadyomene pose is believed to be the symbol of ideal feminine beauty and suggests an availability to the male erotic gaze.  The pose was popular in 19th century French painting and can be seen in Picasso’s Las Demioselles D’Avignon below.

My drawing above of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”  is a life-sized, large piece done in graphite on an old piece of rubber-backed curtaining. Here are some other beautiful examples.  You will notice it is a common theme to show the subject innocently wringing out her wet hair.   Perhaps you could ask your life model to stand in this pose for you to create your own drawing.  She may not be able to hold the pose for too long, it is a back breaker!

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This one directly above is a lovely male version of the pose and is just as powerful as the Venus poses above.  This marble statue is Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave”, which was uncompleted and done around 1513-1516.

For another interesting pose check out this link:

http://zenschoolforcreatives.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/contrapposto-a-traditional-pose/