Wednesday, December 7, 2011

38. A Copy of One of My Favorite Artists

After Frederick Remington's 
"The Cowboy"
11x14 oil/panel

Today's project involved making a "copy" - more like a close approximation, of a painting by one of my all time favorite painters, Frederick Remington.   A trip to the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art when I was about 7 did quite a bit to motivate me to become a painter.  Even at that young age, I was enthralled by the work of Remington and Russell - they painted horses! And cowboys!!! I was amazed!  I think at that time I knew I wanted to draw and paint and become an "artist".  I'm still on that journey, and now, 50  years later (yikes) I am just now painting the things I love (horses! and cowboys!)
 For those of you who might not know, it is acceptable to make a copy of a painting, as long as you label it as such.   This painting is a secret Christmas gift for someone who does not really care much about art, per say, but seems to relate to Remington's work and likes it.  I think he'll be pleased.

Even making a "close approximation" is a learning experience.  I was not trying to go brushstroke for brushstroke, but just get close enough that someone would see the painting across the room and recognize it.
But the kind of close studying one must do to even 'approximate" gives real insight into how this master worked.  I am still in awe.

I had a small printed postcard and a page in a book to work from, and they were very, very different as far as color goes. So I picked the card to use for color, and the book page was slightly larger for some of the detail.

Here is a short video of this painting in progression.  I may still touch up a few places, but I need a smaller brush!  That cowboy's face is only about 3/4 inch, and it was tough to even approximate the detail that Remington achieved.  First I show the set up, with the little postcard as reference, and then a series of progress shots.  After the first bit of covering the canvas with an average color for each shape, the changes m;ight be quite small, but they're there!
video