For centuries, the best artists from around Europe would travel to Italy to make copies of Renaissance masterpieces. Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez and artists of the British School such as Reynolds, Raeburn, Romney and Lawrence - all made the journey to Rome and they considered their time there to be pivotal in their development as artists.
In a two day workshop at the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA), I introduced a group of aspiring artists to the practice of making master copies. Students chose from a selection of classical and more contemporary portrait paintings and learned how to analyse the process behind their creation. Considering aspects such as choice of palette, brushwork and working method - students created their own copies of their chosen picture.
For more information regarding workshops such as these (including another that I am running later in the year focusing on painting textures and textiles) please contact LARA here.
Billingshurst in West Sussex has a hidden gem in the form of the Sussex Sculpture Studios, run by Marji Talbot and hosting a wide range of courses by leading sculptors such as Hazel Reeves. Last weekend I taught a class on artistic anatomy to a group of enthusiastic painters and sculptors.
Anatomy encompasses a huge subject area - so when I teach it I like to focus on the practical aspects rather than naming and describing every single muscle. I'm interested, above all, in the features that create structure and surface form. Over the course of the weekend I introduced the key bony landmarks and the major muscle masses, but for the most part we explored ways of giving believability and solidity to figurative paintings and sculptures.
Ben Laughton Smith
Contemporary works of art in the classical tradition.