I began the Copyist Program at the National Gallery of Art on October 4th, and although I was excited and eager to begin, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the crowds of people who visit the museum on a daily basis. The application process for the program took about to 2 months to complete, but the wait was well worth it.
Stop by and see me if you happen to visit the NGA on Tuesdays. I’m on the main floor of the West Wing, from 10am – 4pm. If you don’t see me, I’m probably having lunch in the Cascade Cafe around 12:30 or 1:00.
Hope to see you there!
I begin with a toned cotton or linen canvas or panel. After setting down markings, where the size of the head, body, arms, etc. will go (like a map), I next sketch in the figure using simple large shapes, making sure I mark where the facial features will be, measuring with a paint brush or carefully by sight for accurate distances between the features. The next step is to lay down the darks and the lights, where the shadows will be and where the light falls on the figure. When I’m satisfied my drawing is correct, I follow with the of skin tones and clothing color always paying attention to color relationships. Details are left for the end, kind of the icing on the cake. Hopefully, I will end up with a very satisfying painting as with A Young Girl Reading, after Jean-Honore Fragonard, in preparation for the Copyist Program at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.