If you don’t spend time at your local fine art museum, you should. In fact, you should take your sketch book and use the opportunity to do some copy drawing. Why copy other artist’s work? Because… that is when you really see the work.
Today I visited the Museum of Fine Arts – Houston to see the American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World exhibit. That’s a mouth full. Anyway, the museum presented a good discussion of the two artists (Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley) and their pursuit of historic painting during Colonial American times. From the paintings on exhibit, I have to say I preferred Copley’s work. Here I share my effort at copying Copley’s self-portrait. His original is executed in oil paint. I brought a tablet of white Canson Pastel paper that I had toned with a mixture of charcoal and graphite. This allows me to sketch and mass-in the darks in charcoal and erase for the lights. I spent about 90 minutes on this. Copley’s work is much better. Go see for yourself.