Creative Exercise: Copy Masterworks


“Copying a piece by Nicolai Fechin I wanted to see if the broken edge effects could translate from oil into pastel.”

“A century ago, when students completed their basic studies, they were sent off to copy masterworks at the Louvre or the Prado,” says William Schneider. “I find that if I just study a masterpiece I can quickly forget the lessons learned. But if I copy the painting, the information seems to travel up my brush, through my arm, and into my brain, where it has a better chance of sticking! The goal is not to create a forgery but rather to understand how the artist solved the problems. With our modern technology we don’t have to travel to Paris or Madrid and apply for permission to copy the works; we can get an image off the internet, or even scan a photo in an art book to get surprisingly clear images to work from.”


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