This is my second visit to the National Gallery of Art participating in the Copyist's program. I am copying "Plum Brandy" by Edouard Manet. I continue to learn, not only about the painting process, but I have also learned so very much about the artists of that time. Along with the research I do at home, I am able to listen in on the tours going through the National Gallery of Art and find out all sorts of interesting things about the artists in the specific room I am painting in. It is an education on so very many levels.
Today's tours included a discussion on Manet's brush strokes...how bold and apparent they are. Traditionally brush strokes, or paintings in general, were meant to accurately depict the subject...much like a photograph. Once the camera was invented paintings became more about the art and less about directly copying to record an historic or family likeness. Manet was a frontrunner in painting in an impressionistic manner and in depicting scenes from every day life instead of a posed more formal scene.
Today's other big lesson is about color. I have been struggling with mixing colors and getting the right shades. This process is teaching me to be more thoughtful when I mix colors...to take my time and get it right the first time.
Joke for the day...a young man was looking at my work and I happened to stroke the canvas with the wrong color...as I wiped off the stroke I leaned over to him and said "either he is wrong or I am...I am not sure"...well he found me less than amusing! Good thing I appreciate my jokes!
To say I am enjoying this experience would be an understatement. This is one of the most significant things I have done to improve my artwork. Stay tuned...