Learning From the Past
Examples of my Oil Painting Copies
Why do artist copy works from other artist?
It is a wonderful way to learn, be inspired, and to hon in your technical knowledge of the materials needed. Hopefully it allows for an artist to gain confidence to create and utilize that knowledge in creating their own artwork. Copying can also help to improve your drawing skills. Painting a previous work of art can also help to develop an understanding of color hue, value, and intensity.
Why I started to work from past masters.
I've always felt fairly comfortable with my artistic abilities. However, I've always felt a lack of knowledge when it came to working with oil paint. From what surface to use, to what medium would work best for me, how to mix to achieve the best skin tone. There has been days where I actually spend more time mixing colors than painting. I have created various color charts to help gain my understanding, especially when I splurge on a new color tube and want to see how it interacts with other colors.
It is amazing on how much you can create by using a limited color palette, which I honestly feel is the way for anyone to start out with oil painting. Oil painting is not an inexpensive art form to pursue, so before investing try to start with supplies that can allow for you to get a feel for it. If you decide you want to give it a try it's probably best to start with a trail set of oil paints, a basic set of brushes, and perhaps just purchase an oil pad of paper. I have used Arches cold pressed oil pads and really find it enjoyable to work with. I sometimes give it a a coat of acrylic gesso before I start painting and may tape it to a hard board while painting for support If you like what you painted on the paper I have found it really easy to mount the painting with archival adhesive sheets and attach it to a sealed board. it makes framing a piece really easy.
It is illegal to present your work as being an original. You should always attribute your art as having been copied from another person’s work of art. On no account have you got permission to copy the signature. That’s a fraud, plain and simple. Copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator at which point it enters the public domain. Copying has been done for years as a learning technique. You may even spot an artist at museum painting directly from an original. The artist has probably gone through the right channels to be allowed to do this.
I do not sign the front of the paintings I copy, but rather add the information to the back of the piece- including the original artist, name of the piece, and I do include my signature plus date I painted it.