Master Copy Class #1: John Singer Sargent

Last Monday I started my Master Copy Class at Zwick Academy of Fine Art, in the tradition of learning by attempting to replicate a master painter’s work using their methods. The class ends March 9th, after which I will show my finished study and the weekly progress photos. Showing progress week by week would be too painful for me, as there are certain stages where my paintings just look a mess!_MG_5548

This is my beginning, which is a tracing transferred to a grey-toned canvas: John Singer Sargent’s preferred ground.

I have looked everywhere for the title of this painting…but can’t find it. If anyone knows, please post a comment.

Doing master copies is one of my favorite ways to learn to paint or draw. The original artist has already worked out the complicated issues of translating a 3D subject to 2D, and trying to follow along helps me learn so much about how the media is handled (brush strokes, thickness of paint, etc.), color choices and composition. Although I do my best to produce a faithful copy, at some point the painting becomes my own–for better or worse. Two semesters ago in my Intro to Painting class, I chose Mary Cassatt’s Bacchante as my Master Copy Project. I see many things that are incorrect (wow…so many things) with my painting now (on the left), but I learned so much from the attempt!



Tomorrow, I begin my Intro to Life Drawing class at Leeward Community College. I’m very excited and feel so fortunate that my days are filled with learning everything I can about drawing and painting…really, it can’t get much better than this (not to brag…too much)!

By the way, if you click on the link to Zwick Academy of Fine Art, you’ll see a photo of me drawing my cast in the Admissions tab (and other places) from the Summer workshop. I really recommend attending any of the workshops if possible: like I’ve said before, I have learned so much from them and believe they are terrific for anyone who is serious about improving their skills in drawing and painting.

2 thoughts on “Master Copy Class #1: John Singer Sargent

  1. Okay! I think I found it but it’s a different painter. I couldn’t find anything under John Singer Sargent so I did a google image search of the painting and came up with Philip Alexius de Laszlo. A Hungarian painter in the 19th century. The title of the painting is: Portrait Of Viscountess Chaplin.
    A quote on a page I found, which could be a part of the confusion on who the painter is: “His great skill in capturing a sitter’s likeness and his ability to transpose glamour and vitality onto a canvas often equalled that of Sargent.”
    Here is the page I found that gave a bit of information on the painting.

    Hope this helps!! Much love!


  2. Your paintings are really good, you are copying a master painting. You have the talent to be able to paint as good as you do, sit back and and enjoy your classes and admire your work.


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