please note my baroque era drop cloth and trader joe’s bag, just like diego’s
Last week I spent some time at the MFA with Adrian Gottlieb working on a copy of a portion of Diego Velazquez’s ‘Don Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf’ from 1632. Adrian jumped at the chance to do a copy at the museum, as apparently in California they do not allow master copy in any of the museums, of course limiting the amount of in-depth study you can do. It’s a great way to spend a couple of afternoons.
Below is a photo I took of Adrian at work copying a Rembrandt
Weekly student Nadine Geller, and artist friends Frank Strazzula and Kamille Corry came by the museum while I was starting in my copy, their photo below.
Above is the full painting, below my copy of the dwarf’s head. I wanted specifically to copy the very colorful midtones in the painting, I have been painting very high key for the past couple of years, so thought it would be a good example to study. Unfortunately the lighting in the gallery was very yellow, which made any sort of one-to-one copying of color a bit of a crapshoot.
After spending a couple of days with the painting, I could really sense Diego’s ambivalence towards the young king and caring for the little person I spent time copying.
I would have liked to spend one more day refining the copy, as it is it’s a bit rough, but as an educational study I already feel like I gained a lot. It’s a 20×16″
There are few things simultaneously more humbling and educational than doing this sort of thing. I try to do at least one a year, and every time tell myself I should do them more often. Click here to read a previous blog post from early this year on doing a Frederick Judd Waugh copy.
And since we are on the topic of copying paintings, below is an Antonio Mancini copy I did back in 2010 or so- I don’t think I ever posted this one on my blog. It’s not a top-shelf Mancini, just because of the subject more than anything, but the technique was absolutely outstanding, learned much about paint application doing this one.