Copy Famous Paintings – Vincent van Gogh

van_gogh_-_starry_night_-_google_art_project

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!

2910 2016 003.JPG

2910-2016-002

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

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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

klimt_the_kiss_closeup_

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

Paint in Acrylic – Easy Abstract Roses

Roses

Here is a very quick exercise in painting abstract roses. You will need around 30 minutes plus drying time for this.

To make the artwork you will need:

  • Acrylic paints in white, red, blue and yellow.  If your budget is limited, you can use any red, blue or yellow you have on hand however, a cool red gives a lovely colour for roses.
  • Flat plastic spatula or palette knife, available at art shops (usually in a multi-pack.)
  • Large brush
  • A canvas in whatever size you like
  • plastic jar for water
  • rags to mop up spills

Here’s how:

  • Paint the primed canvas with a background mixture of white with a small dot of  yellow. This gives a lovely glow to the finished work. Allow to dry.
  • Make up a mixture of red with very small dots of  blue and yellow added.
  • If all this mixing sounds confusing, you can do your own thing with making colours.
  • Paint the canvas with this mixture as an undercoat and allow to dry for at least 1 hour.
  • When completely dry, mix up some white with a very small amount of yellow (this should look almost white) and apply over the red canvas.
  • While still wet, scrape swirls into the canvas using the side of the spatula and turning it to get some different qualities of line. Allow some of the swirls to fall off the edge of the canvas. This will allow the red undercoat to show.
  • Do not fuss or draw back into the swirls. Make your first mark the only one.
  • Allow to dry.

Below is a work done my Naomi Middelmann using the same process.

Go forth, forget about the outcome, enjoy the process and you will make a fine artwork!

Naomi Middelmann

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

 

Edgar Degas Women Combing the Hair0302 003

 

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!