Tuesday, August 3, 2010

John Singleton Copley Study

Well. It's good for a first attempt. There is quite a bit wrong though. First being the mouth which is much too far out. The contour of the nose is a little off, also the edge of the face furthest away needs to come out more. Copley's self portrait is just filled with beautiful subtleties and it's hard to transfer the gorgeousness of this painting into a crummy graphite sketch. Oh well, i'll just have to try again. 

Ugh... the more I compare the more disgusted I am at my capabilities as an artist.

For any of you unfamiliar with Copley, he was probably America's first great painter. Sadly once he reached success and fame he moved to England and stayed there until his death. Though he had many of your standard portraits some he was allowed to play with and they had a charm and humor to them.

This painting is filled with suspense for me, look at her devious expression, with the bird and the dog everything seems to lead to her hand grasping the ribbon as if she were about to pull it at any moment releasing someone in a vat of molten lava. The pose is also really unusual to me, for a portrait anyhow. kneeling in front of the chair, it adds to the playfulness of the whole picture.

For any American history buff's you'll probably recognize this gentlemen above, it's none other than Paul "British Are Coming" Reveere. This painting is again strange, it's as if he started a standard still life and turned it into a portrait to have someone interfere with the objects. Now, I don't know much about Paul outside the famous tale, but maybe he was some sort of silversmith? not entirely sure, but this painting is just about as curious as his expression.

This is a fantastic group portrait. With children climbing all over the elders, I think my favorite is the older man on the left with the little girl looking at his wife pleading with his eyes for assistance, all is futile for she has two girls already crawling all over her. The man in all the way in the back is the artist himself, the reason why this painting takes so many liberties is the fact that this is his family and this is how he see's them. I wish I had a painting like this.

"The Sitwell Children," brilliant!

This is probably Copley's most famous and respected works. It was highly controversial at the time it was exhibited, but to me the crazy part is that this is a depiction of an actual event! The man in the water did survive, at the cost of one of his legs. 

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