I hope everyone had a Happy Easter or Passover, and are doing well during this crazy time. I know currently, it feels as if our lives are up in the air, but keep hanging in there, and we’ll get through this!
As an artist, when I see someone closing one eye and making a square with their thumb and forefinger while they’re looking at art, I understand the logic behind it. They are observing, and trying to figure out what they like about the piece and why they like it. This can be an important process for artists to process aspects of art and breakdown parts of a piece to better understand it.
We all study artists we admire, and some of us even strive to emulate them and create similar work. Because of our admiration, we also have questions that we want answers to: “Why did the artist use this color here?” “How did he make this mark?” “Why do the proportions seem off?” Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get these answers.
The good news is that even without speaking to the artist directly, there are ways we can figure out these answers on our own! One of these ways is to do a study of another artists work. This can be done by recreating their piece yourself. You may be thinking that it’s plagiarism or forging, but it’s not, as long as you’re not trying to pass it off as your own original idea.
Now that a lot of us have more time on our hands, this can be a good time to try and study a piece yourself! One key element is to choose a painting that you love and can see over and over again, so you genuinely enjoy the process of recreating it. You can even make a game out of it by asking friends to do their own study and compare your works!
Doing a well-rounded study does take a bit of time and work. I recommend that you get printing a photo of the painting. If you are trying to match tones of colors, the light from a screen can make this more difficult, but a print can give you a better reference.
The process requires some patience, but taking your time is often the best way to do things. Not only can you learn why they made a particular choice you can gain confidence in your gestures and movements and try out new styles that you may have never tried before!
If you can, doing research on an artist and their methods can make this process even more fun. There are many different tools that you can buy or create to help mimic the work you’re referencing or you can even discover your own mark-making styles along the way.
Studies can be an amazing tool for any artist, no matter what you want your style of art may be.
Thanks for reading.