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Another study from Tadema

May 25, 2011

From Tadema's 'Vain Courtship', 8x10, Gouache

Another portrait practice piece, this time working from Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s Vain Courtship.  Painting from classical masters is an excellent exercise, and working like this is giving me great examples to learn from.

As with the first one, the likeness falls short.  But I did a little experiment in Photoshop, overlaying my study over the original painting.  The face and its features were spot on in terms of size and placement, but the lady looks a bit older in my version, and doesn’t quite have that classic nose.  The shoulders on mine are slightly broader, but the vertical proportions were very, very close.  Not a bad eye for a second shot at this kind of thing.  Yes, the hands are a little funky.  The last time I did any serious figure drawing was the Life Drawing class in college, a very, very long time ago.  I’ve always avoided hands and feet in my artwork.

An interesting note about Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema:    According to the Art Renewal Center, “his painting Antony and Cleopatra recently sold for an astounding  $26,000,000 hammer.  With the premiums, the buyer will pay  $29,202,500.  This is the second highest price ever paid for a 19th century Academic painting, coming only second to Alma-Tadema’s The Finding of Moses, which brought $35,922,500 just six months ago.”

Not a bad master to learn from.

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