Master Studies As A Practice For Amateur And Professional Artists.
Master studies are recommended by many top, professional artists around the world, as being an excellent way to practice, develop and study the greats of the past who dedicated their lives towards excelling in their chosen craft.
Master studies are usually paintings or drawings that are copied to the best of the ability of the student, who must be conscious and aware of why and how the original piece was created, the technique, what made it great, and the thinking methods of the artist who created it. It is advised that the student set a specific goal as to what they hope to achieve from the study, for example the focus could be on composition, colour, lighting, or the unique painting style of the master. The artist should be fully present when doing the study, and making sure he/she can pause and question why the master chose to take the actions that led to the finished piece, instead of working on autopilot and mindlessly copying just to copy.
Working In Multiple Mediums
I have personally practiced copying works from the masters in pencils, pens and digital paintings of traditional oil paintings. But this time, I chose to study the brilliantly sculpted statues in the louvre museum, and I drew them in pencil on paper, focusing on the light, values and forms of each one.
10 Pencil On Paper Master Studies
I selected 10 of the marble sculpture statues from the Louvre Museum in Paris to study from. I found it a valuable exercise even after just 10 days. I wanted to keep them going, but had to settle for 10 as I had a limited number of good quality reference photos to work from, and I was running out of time to prepare myself for my next big travel adventure to South America.
In the end I completed 10 of the studies, and framed the final two in my hometown Brighton, England, before leaving to make my way to London.
So here they are, all of my 10 Louvre museum master studies;
European Marble Sculpture - Drawing Practice
I returned home to Brighton, England and rediscovered some of my photos from my second trip to the Louvre museum in Paris... This is the first drawing of mine that I made looking at my own photo reference of one of the marble sculpture statues which I came across when exploring the European section of the Louvre.
This was my second drawing looking at my own photo reference of one of the marble sculpture statues inside the European section of the Louvre Museum in Paris.
I didn’t quite manage to finish this one in time. But here it is, another Louvre Museum marble sculpture drawing for daily drawing practice!
I don’t think I chose the best photo reference out of my photos for this pencil/value study, the lighting on the sculpture didn’t really reveal much contrast on the form, as only a fraction of direct spotlight was hitting it. But I chose to study this particular sculpture more for the pose/foreshortening/emotion/expression which really stood out from the rest.
I was also listening to one of Jordan Peterson’s most recent interviews, and in it he was talking about the psychological persona and shadow, the hero’s journey, life being a struggle and tragic... this particular sculpture I thought resonated quite well with what he was talking about, maybe that’s partly why I chose to draw it.
I’m actually really enjoying this practice, and I can see that if I keep pushing I can probably improve my form and lighting on the figure quite a bit.
This was my drawing after my trip to the Scottish highlands
Isaac Newton? Napoleon? I'm sure who this is as I forgot to take a photo of the description.
This was the first drawing that I decided I wanted to frame. Somebody asked me if it was Nostradamus, or Plato?
'Neptune Calming The Waves' - Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, Louvre Museum, Paris.
This was my final pencil drawing in Brighton (for now) completing 10 days of pencil drawing studies from the Louvre museum’s marble sculptures.
I framed this drawing along with Day 9, and all of the drawings are for sale!
My Framed Master Study Drawings For Sale
As I mentioned above, I framed my drawings day 9 and 10 before I left Brighton, England, and took photos of them outside my house. These drawings are for sale, and can be shipped anywhere around the world from England. If you are interested, just comment below and I'll get back to you!
For any artists reading this post, how was your experience practicing master studies? Which medium(s) have you used, and did you find that it improved your work and increase your skill level? Do you do master studies often?