Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hofner Copy

A great way to get to know a painting is to do a little copy of it.

The original painting is called “The Little Shepherdess,” by Johann Baptist Hofner, painted in 1866.

The copy is in oil, four by six inches using a #2 bristle filbert. I chose the relatively big brush because I wanted to interpret the larger masses, not the tiny details—for example the head as a unit, not the individual features.

The poster reproduction I worked from had a different color atmosphere than this Internet picture. If you’re working from print or screen reproduction, try to gather four or five versions and then you can make a closer guess what the real painting looks like.


My Pen Name said...
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My Pen Name said...

I have done copies at the Metropolitan M. and you'd be amazed how 'off' the color is on many photos- even in a museum's database.

There's nothing like being in front of the painting BUT often the light on your easel is different (i did an experiment with color swatches under the original and my copy.)

However, for those who are close to museums and can't get copy permits - a good way to get a photo you can work with is to photo the painting with a color swatch underneath it. you can also bring in a small piece of painted board with your color notes on it.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Do you squint to paint this way? (It looks alot like my world without my glasses on). Also, it looks like you've simplified the values to three: light, dark and mid tone. Is that intentional as well?

E.M. Gist said...
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E.M. Gist said...

Mr. Gurney- I am teaching a master studies:composition class in which we are going to do many exercises like this. I was wondering are there specific things that YOU look for when you do these, or does it vary depending on the artist you study?


Mr. Journey,sizi düzenli olarak takip etmekteyiz.Sunumlarınız çok öğretici.Teşekkür ederiz.

Sakievich said...

A quick way of getting "closer" to the original color, since it seems a lot of images online are excessively warm is to use the photo filter in photoshop and apply a cooling filter that you tweak this way or that over it. The default setting on the slider can leave it blue, but by pulling it back a bit it looks much better. I've been surprised by how much closer I can get to the original or at least my memory or guess of what the original might have been. Nothing is ever perfect of course.

James Gurney said...

Sakievich: great tip, thanks.

FATİH: Anlamadığım ileti. Da bir reklam, ya da size bir yorumda hakkında daha sanat?

GIST and Kim: I'm looking for the big color shapes in the composition, as if the scene were a little out of focus. But I might do a copy in pencil to study the linear movements. I usually do two- or three-value studies in pencil.

My Pen Name: Great tip--Another thing I've tried is to bring along an art book or the show catalog and some yellow tags and write color corrections tags.

Doug said...

Mr. Gurney-

Just a question, did you simplify the sky? or were there other reproductions of the same painting that suggested the sky in your paint sketch?

The reason I'm asking is I like yours better. the simplified sky corrects the composition in my eyes, the figure and landscape have more power, weight, where in the original, the sky seems to compete with the main subjects.

James Gurney said...

Doug, I noticed the sky was different, too. I think the contrast came out more extreme on the web-repro compared to the poster I have. I didn't try to improve on Hofner--I just probably missed the slight darkening of the cloud.