Painting Classic Portraits: Great Faces Step by Step


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Your pets become classic works of art

It is much more difficult than it looks. His work truly is a masterpiece, and is deserving of the respect it gets. One of the drawbacks of painting form with high realism is that it requires multiple layers of thin paint, and painting in this style has the potential to check or crack in the future. Challenges of Creating a Master Painting Reproduction It has been a rare occasion in my career that I created a painting using an existing painting by another artist as the reference for my work.

Many unique challenges arise. Perhaps at the top of the list is not having the original reference painting in my studio as I work.


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This introduces many variables which can be confusing at times. There is a huge difference in art appearance displayed among various computer screens. Settings, such as brightness, color balance and contrast are all over the map and create huge discrepancies in appearance. The light in which a painting is viewed plays a huge part in the appearance of the work. On many occasions, I have viewed a painting in progress in a particular light …..

Upon seeing the work, I made some assumptions. The next time I viewed the work, the light on the painting was different, and my previous assumptions seemed to be incorrect. It removes much of the creative aspect and sets us on the impossible task of creating a complex handmade work of art identical to another complex handmade work of art. I can see how most artists would repel at the thought. When I ponder this topic in a different light much as I do my paintings , I come to a more appealing conclusion.

Of course, it must not be expected that the recreation is identical to the original.

Painting Classic Portraits: Great Faces Step by Step

If this understanding exists, as an artist, I can certainly enjoy the journey of creating art that will make someone very happy; so it can be a rewarding experience for both parties. Demand for Master Painting Reproduction In museums throughout the world, people stand in line everyday to view famous paintings on display by master artists of the past. These paintings are valued at millions of dollars to hundreds of millions. Some are valued highly for the wrong reasons ….. However, many are truly genius works of art …..

It makes sense that an art enthusiast would have a strong desire to have a famous, original, museum, master painting hanging on the wall in their own home. I can also understand why a printed copy of the painting would not be appealing. Master Painting Reproduction as an Investment If a talented artist can hand paint a similar painting for thousands, instead of millions of dollars which would substantially capture the qualities of the original, this is the next best thing to owning the original.

It is a good investment as well because there will always be a high demand for a master painting similar to a famous multi-million dollar master painting in a museum. The painting on the far left is an original oil by Mark as well. Thanks for joining me on this portrait painting commission journey. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Check out my recent oil painting portrait commission for a Chevy Chase,MD couple.

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The painting captured a special moment from their wedding day and was a surprise anniversary gift to his wife. Until next time…. Finished Mona Lisa Painting Commission hanging in clients home. Interesting story about the theft, as well. Your work so far looks amazing! Hi Gil, Thanks a bunch for reading and your words of encouragement. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend as well, and I hope you see the finish, which is coming soon.

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So very compelling to see the stages of your work in progress alternating with the historical narrative. The piece is coming along beautifully! Hi Kristie, Thanks so much for taking the time to read the article and write a brief comment. It is much appreciated. I hope you come back to the finish. Mona is looking so terrific! I can hear Leonardo in your thought processes. You are an amazing artist.

Well done! Hi Cliff, Thank you much! It was great meeting you and getting to know you recently, and I am very much looking forward to doing so again in the future. Thanks for your support and encouragement to keep going.


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  6. Wow, Mark. And, with your many creative talents, I had no idea you could write so well — phenomenal job.

    Painting a Portrait: Some General Advice

    To chime in with Gil, your Mona Lisa painting, thus far, looks amazing. Thanks so much for the encouragement brother! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend. I can only write fairly well when I spend an hour for each paragraph! Hi mark,you are doing a splendid job. May I know the interval time between the sessions? How much time was spent on each session? Hi Anjali, Thanks for your comment and for your kind words.

    I have taken 3 or 4 days break between sessions once or twice I think. Most often I paint 4 to 8 hours. If I cant manage to get at least 4 hours set aside to paint I dont even go into the studio.


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    Time flies by very quickly when Im painting. She is so like the real Mona. Mark, your work is so incredible.

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    And I love your writing, the emotional impact you are putting into her, and the emotional and physical impact it is having on you personally! So much dedication! You are an incredible writer. Leonardo would be proud of you! Thanks again! Next session I might not need a cup of coffee. The Mona Lisa seems very different to the classical realist school of thought, in the sense that one wonders if any of the painting was actually done from the model or whether Leonardo relied solely on highly finished and subtle drawings.

    What do you think? Very interesting remark. Many believe that Leonardo worked on the ML painting for 2 to 10 years, off and on, so of course, the live model would not be a part of most of his work. I have not seen the original in person yet, but I guess that the shadows are not quite as dark and sharp as they appear in the pictures that you are seeing online.

    In addition, from my own experiences of working with models in natural window light, shadows can get very dark, and I believe that the original ML painting was created from a live model in natural light, even though it was for a very brief portion of the work. Thanks for the step-by-step thus far.

    Quite intriguing. I learned about this blog from the ARC newsletter featuring your efforts.

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