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Learning from the Old Masters – part 1

Sketches, studies and reproductions I’ve made over the years.

In many ways I would have to consider myself self taught, although I’m not a big fan of that way of thinking, especially considering the fact that if one is paying attention, there are teachers everywhere. Since I have no formal training much of my education has come from studying art history, drawing from life and as this post shows, studying and reproducing works of the old masters. Most of these are from 2001 to 2005 and are an example of the choices I’ve made and which artists have inspired me.

Exploring these works and trying to reproduce them taught me a great deal as I tried to understand how they accomplished what they did. Along with studying the paintings themselves and the lives of the artists I also spent endless hours studying books on the methods and materials of the old masters in an effort to absorb as much as possible to develop a sound technical practice, to create works that were properly constructed and would stand the test of time.

This list is not complete by any means. There are still a few reproductions that I’ve painted which I don’t have records of. I don’t do many reproductions these days unless I’m commissioned to do so. I have about six in the studio that I have been meaning to get back to for the last few years, but they are more for my own personal enjoyment. I hope to finish them up over the winter. Stay tuned for “Learning from the old masters – part 2”.

Self portrait as a young man, after Rembrandt, oil on panel © Mark Reeder.
Self portrait as the Apostle Paul, detail, after Rembrandt, oil on panel © Mark Reeder.
Rembrandt’s eyes, after Rembrandt, oil on panel © Mark Reeder.
Study for the Head of Apollo in the ‘Forge of Vulcan’, after Velazquez, 8 x 12,
oil on panel 2004 © Mark Reeder.
Fumee d’Ambre Gris, detail, after Sargent, oil on panel, 6 x 7, oil on panel © Mark Reeder.
Roses, after Sargent, oil on panel © Mark Reeder.
Venetian street, detail, after Sargent 9 x 12.5, oil on canvas © Mark Reeder.
Bust of Medusa, after Bernini, 12 x 12, oil on linen © Mark Reeder.
after Michelangelo, 6 x 12, oil on canvas panel 2005 © Mark Reeder.
after Rodin, 6 x 12, oil on panel 2001 © Mark Reeder.

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