Saturday, 18 March 2017

Importance of master studies

I think and many successful artist that I know and learn from have a same opinion. In order to get better it's not a bad idea to copy some of your favourite artist. You can observe their brushwork, colour mixtures, edge work and how loose or tighten they are/were. Since I love portraits and it's always a challenge to do them correctly I've decided to give a try and study one of the greatest - John Singer Sargent.

I started with his rapid studies of some people because this unfinished pieces can reveal the most of the procedure. I wasn't that cautious about to have the same likeness of the subject which you can see on pictures down below, but I was more eager to capture how the paint is layed out on the canvas, how colours are vivid/gray or his edge work.

On the pictures there's original on the left and my copy on the right - Under first comparison there's an example how I approached this copy for a start - I used raw umber for an underpainting. The rest two master studies were started as Sargent would do it - just lay in the proportions with charcoal...

Few things that I've learned:

1. My final studies are lot more cooler because my lightning in my studio is warm  - So I have to change the bulbs for neutral light (5000K) to get my colours truthful. Pictures of the studies are captured in day light (more neutral) so it's even more conspicuous. If I would make a shoots of the pictures under my artificial light it would be that vivid.

2. My darks are on some places little bit duller because I polluted them with white in order to lighten them a little bit - That is mainly in warm darks - So in future I'll try to lighten them with a mixture of yellow and white.

3. Sargent made me definitely more aware of the edges and I thing that was the most valuable thing that I've acquired from this lesson.

Sargent master study 1 

My tonal underpainting for my first master study of Sargent work

Sargent master study 2

Sargent master study 3

So my fellow artists please give me some suggestions/advices/tips how to improve my oil painting portraiture. From this comparison I can tell that I have lots to do.

Have you all blast! Petr

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