We were chatting about learning from old master's works and it reminded me of one of the college projects I did while at the Academy. In my watercolor 201 class with Mr. Mat Barber Kennedy he had his first year painters do a piece after another artist. He did open this up to more modern artists as well.
|Mat Barber Kennedy|
The important thing was that the artwork wasn't done in watercolor, ink, or gouache but in a medium we hadn't used before. Mainly that meant oils or acrylics but I think that some people tried to copy digital medium as well. I had several pieces to choose from but in the end I settled for one by Gerald Brom, out of one of the Spectrum books.
Mr. Kennedy approved the choice and helped me to scale the piece to fit the paper size I was working on, which was a dull sheet of arches hot press watercolor paper 140lbs. Approximately 20x30 inches I believe. I don't do well with grids so most of it was eyeballed onto the paper.
|Spectrum's Call For Entries by Gerald Brom|
Once the drawing was laid out I did something I normally despise, and that is applying a layer of frisket or artists' masking fluid to the painting. It is a thin bit of laytex that keeps paint off areas you don't want to paint and is easily removed. I tend to not like it because it leaves you with gritty edges that take time to smooth or color match to perfection.
My pallet consisted of Windsor & Newton permanent rose, yellow ochre, cadmium red, windsor violet, and a touch of cobalt blue traded by my friend Kevin for some Hooker Green! Yay! Sharing is caring!
|The rare use of frisket aka mask media|
I worked up the background and removed the frisket, then started to detail the character. I had a few copies of the piece by Brom at my work table, and referenced it often. This is one of my earliest watercolor pieces and I learned a lot from it and also really saw how much I had learned not just from Mr. Kennedy but from my peers also.
I never did finish this piece. It was the last project of the semester and I think I stayed an additional hour or two after class before throwing in the towel. All in all copying from someone else was a great lesson learned, especially in a different medium. I have done a few others like this, one being by fantasy watercolorist Paul Bonner to really see what I can do with the medium.
YOU should try it!