Mar 3, 2011

That's So Bouguereau!

This week in Nicolas's Figurative Concepts class--and this is only week 4, mind you--the homework was to copy a Master painting with charcoal at 18 x 24".  (!)  Luckily for me (but most unfortunate for all those first semester students I am in the class with), I have had practice doing such things from my other Fine Arts classes.  Of course, those were just drawings, not paintings, and we often had multiple weeks to tackle the more difficult and elaborate ones...but yeah, so one week to copy a Master painting.  I went with Nicolas's favorite painter, William-Adolphe Bouguereau.  This guy could paint a foot that looks more realistic than your own foot.  And he did!  And it hangs in San Francisco's own Legion of Honor.

Anyway, I digress.  I chose Bouguereau's Elegy painting from 1899:
After spending somewhere between 11 and 12 hours on it throughout the week, here's what I ended up with:
Sorry the image looks warped around the edges.  We were to focus on the nude figure, which I did.  I had to render some of the background so that you could see the relative value between it and the figure itself.  Lots of nit-picky things that I'd change if I could do it over again or at least spend more time with it.  Still good enough to impress all those first semester kids in my class, though.  And really, that's what it's all about.

Also, just for fun, I took pictures of my work throughout the 11-12 hours to show my progress!  From a quick sketch to refining the edges to making corrections to redrawing to more corrections to more redrawing to rendering to rerendering, etc. until I have the final piece.  Enjoy!

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