How do you study other artists?

  • Hey everyone, i know that studying other artists is an important and necessary thing to do grow as an artist. I've been studying how other artists simplify characters specifically the human body. That's pretty simple, I can learn a lot just doing a draw over. What I am wondering is how do you study fully colored, and rendered pieces? Do you do a simple draw over? Do you block in shapes and color? Or do you copy the entire piece exactly. Is it even worth it to meticulously copy every detail and line? I know that it's more beneficial to finish things fast and move on when doing studies. At least that's what I've been told. I'd love to hear your guys process on studying other artists. Thank you!

  • @phoenix-yip Hello! I was a painting major in college so we were often required to to "Master Studies". When we were given the assignment we had to paint or draw the image as closely as possible, in the same medium used by the artist, and we were required to finish the entire artwork (haha, it took forever). I think the experience was so valuable, and I learned so much from this process. Years later I even saw one of the Degas studies I had done in the Musee d'Orsay and I was so amazed to have the honor of being able to see this painting (I had studied for weeks) in person, I literarily broke into tears in front of it, lol.
    As far as what you've mentioned, I think all the things you've said are valuable ways of studying other artists work and, in my opinion, it's definitely worth trying to meticulously create every detail and line (at least once).

  • @Tiffany-Thomas That's so sick you saw your art in a gallery! that must be an amazing feeling. Thanks for your advice, I will take that into consideration!

  • @phoenix-yip Haha, I realize the wording of that was a little weird. I actually saw the painting by Degas in a museum in Paris. When I worked on the master study I spent weeks looking at colored photocopies of it from the library, so seeing his actual painting (not my version of it) in person was amazing!

  • I haven’t done any master studies but when I see something I like, I a certain way somebody has rendered something i immediately try and recreate it and make it my own.

  • @Asyas_illos Same here.

  • Yeah, try to draw every last detail as exact as you can get it. You'll learn a lot.

  • I've done quite a few 1-1 studies, and I'm not sure how I feel about them. One time I was doing a go-at-your-own-pace course and we had to make an exact copy of a piece. I spend like 2 months on just that one piece because I was only doing art during my toddler's nap times during that period. I felt a little shell shocked afterward because I really felt that I hadn't learned anything in the end. In retrospect I might have learned a bit of endurance and maybe something about value ranges.

    My current philosophy for myself is to select something about a piece I want to implement, and try it out on my own original piece. That way I get a study out of it and possibly a portfolio piece. This keeps me from going on autopilot and keeps my mind on what I'm trying to get out of the study. So on a fully rendered piece I might focus on the color palette and values, or the composition, or the textures, or the lighting, etc.

    I might feel differently about 1-1 copies in the future, but at this stage I'm not interested in those kind of studies!

  • @kylebeaudette Thank you, i will try that.

Log in to reply