Copying the Old Masters

Today I’m sharing a little bit about learning from the Old Masters.

Having been a painter since I was a child I’ve heard many times over the years that the best way to learn about painting is to copy the paintings of the Masters from the past.

To this day I’ve only done a few copies of old master paintings, but each time I’ve learned so much. From the initial composition to the color palette and brushstrokes used. You can gain so much by trying to emulate a painter whose work you admire. This is exactly what all of those Old Masters did; they copied those who came before them. It’s how artists have learned from the beginning of time, as well as being an apprentice. How fun would it be to apprentice under Corot or Degas, or Rembrandt!

This time I recorded some of my steps in my attempt at copying Corot’s the “Springtime of Life”. Enjoy! The original can be seen at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Initial lay in and drawing

Begin modeling of dress and form

More layers and refining of details

Finished “Springtime of Life” after Corot “Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot 1796-1875″

After completing the “Springtime of Life” by Corot I was inspired to return to a painting I competed several years ago. I wanted to apply some of what I learned from Corot right away.  I added more layers, color, and depth to the landscape.








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