Many people become artists because they have plenty of their own ideas; therefore, the suggestion that they should copy someone else’s work is often met with disdain. There is quite a lot to be learned from copying the masters, however, as this is a fantastic tool for learning some of the classic techniques and what makes a technically good painting.
Music to your ears
Someone learning a musical instrument learns how to read music and then practises someone else’s tunes before they would even consider attempting to write their own music. This approach also works with painting – learn how to replicate someone else’s work, understand and interpret, and move on to creating your own masterpieces.
Best way to learn
Copying a famous painting is a technique often used in art classes, particularly those that concentrate on traditional painting techniques. This is a lot more in-depth than just picking up a brush and choosing a colour. Once you understand the skills and how they build to make what is a familiar piece, it is time to move on to creating your own work.
Start by copying a simple piece. The aim is to understand the technique rather than to recreate a very complicated painting; therefore, a portrait is often a good starting point. Keep your canvas as close to the size of the original as possible to learn about proportions and scale. If you get the opportunity to see the original during the course of your work, so much the better, as you cannot see texture very well on a poster.
For some artists, being seen to openly copy another’s work will not sit too comfortably; however, you can access all the relevant information about copyright on the Writers & Artists website.
Reproducing your own masterpiece
Many artists find themselves opting to reproduce their own artwork rather than selling the originals, which serves both to make the original more valuable and to extend the reach of their work. Specialists in artwork copying, such as http://www.river-studio.com/services/index.php, are available to advise you on all aspects of this process.
Getting space with a gallery is difficult and, even then, exposure to a larger audience can be difficult; however, with cleverly thought-out reproductions and marketing, your art could delight many more people.