Figurative Paintings Mastercopies

The Met: Gallery 601 – Week 5

Today turned out to be hands and fabric day. I think it could have easily been a day to work on the soldier, but that will have to wait. 

I rushed to get to the Met, and I began painting shortly after 12 pm. To my surprise, I was able to get little closer to the painting than the other days, which was very nice.

Because there are so many visitors coming and going I have been setting up my Easel pretty far away from the original painting. It’s really hard to get at all the little details, but I decided that will paint what I can see. Besides, when really necessary, I can walk up to the painting and see what I need to see.

Mastercopy – The Denial of Saint Peter – This image was taken after session #5

Reworking the hands took some time because the positions of them are slightly different the original. I also made some modification to Peter’s cloth to compensate for all the little changes that I have introduced.

I also realized that the lights in the gallery 601 are changing constantly. I noticed this when the entire room lit up. While the change was shocking, I was able to see much better. Some colors will need to be adjusted once again…

Figurative Paintings Mastercopies

Mastercopy: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio – Week 4

Today marks the 4 of 8 sessions of copying Caravaggio’s painting. It’s an important day because today is the day to prepare the painting for following 4 sessions. If any major change or decision needs to be made, today is the day.

Step 1 – I began the painting session by adding another layer of paint on the background, adding a good quantity of paint over the initial thin paint layer.

Step 2 – Position of all five hands were repositioned. This was one of the major decision that I had to make today. I liked the size of all the heads, but all five hands had to be adjusted very slightly so they all look good.

Step 3 – The majority of today’s session at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was spent on Peter’s head, and painting his wardrobe. I know I have to dedicate at least one session just on Peter, so this would be a preparation step for another day. I am hoping I would be able to get to him on week 7.

Cropped Image – Portrait of Saint Peter

Step 4 – The remaining time today was spent on the woman’s face, focusing on colors under shaded areas. I might be able to get at this by glazing, but I decided stick to the direct painting method for now. Some likeness from the original was lost today, but I ran out of time.

Cropped Image – Portrait of the woman

In conclusion, all major tasks for today was completed as planned.

Related Links

Figurative Paintings Mastercopies

Painting at the Metropolitan Museum – Week 3

Painting at the Met has been such a unique experience. Some of the most memorable moment thus far has been possible by the visitors that have come to talk with me. One of the best conversation was with a visitor who stopped to tell me that she began painting, too. I was so happy to hear the excitement in her voice—we definitely need more painters using oil in this digital era. 

My goal for continuing to copy the Denial of Saint Peter this week was to cover the entire canvas with paint. I have also made some decision to cover light areas with blighter colors than the original painting for now. I haven’t decided whether to match the color exactly, or to adjust it to make it look as it might have looked 400 hundred years ago—I have been researching on painting restoration on the side. 

One of the major challenge when copying this painting—in my humble opinion—is not so much to paint what most of see, but what we can only see up close. While the photographs of the work doesn’t reveal this, there are a wide-range of colors and shapes that make up the darker areas of this painting. It’s quiet beautiful to see all the shades of colors, for example, on women’s face. I have decided that I will begin tackle that in the week 4, but began working on sample from a live three week pose. Below is the color study where I am studying skin colors under shadow.

Color study – Oil on Cavas, 12” x 9” inches

And, the following post from my Instagram shows the bigger version of my latest project. This is still work in progress..:

Related Links

Figurative Paintings Mastercopies

Copying Caravaggio – Week 2

After a long debate about how to approach copying Caravaggio’s painting at the Met, I decided to paint the way that makes the most sense to me. There are online videos and documentation on how Caravaggio might have painted, but they don’t seem all that reliable. During the week, I practiced painting techniques that I would use to execute the copy by painting live models. Here is a sample:

Oil on Canvas, 12″ x 9″ inches

This was a special week for painting at the Met because I had my friends and family visiting me. Luckily, my visitors all arrived after I got around to paint for two hours. My main goal for this week’s session was to complete the entire drawing by blocking in some major areas and to introduce color to set the base layer.

Je’s copy of Caravaggio – Work in progress

Because I am not looking at the painting from an angle, measuring exact proportion has been an issue. I think that’s okay, though—I don’t have to copy the painting exactly. I ended at a pretty good stop point at the end of the session.

Related Links