Learning From The Masters - Part II

Finding and Collecting Paintings to Study

Birge Harrison, The Lock in Winter

Birge Harrison, The Lock in Winter

I have been collecting master paintings that I love and want to study for a few years now. Here is how I started and then added to my collection.

First I just did a general Google search on master artists and went to images. There I saw a great variety of work, some I liked, some not so much.

When I found pieces I liked, I began to look for similarities among then, i.e. is it the same artist, is it a certain style, i.e. realism, impressionism, abstract, etc.

Once I was able to generally define the style, I could search for more painters within that realm.

I found I was drawn to tonalism and the tonalist painters, so I have begun to study those works and collect mostly works that are part of that style of painting….for example, George Inness, Birge Harrison, Sanford Gifford, and many others.

Many of the famous artists will have a dedicated .org page for their work, and from there you can clip and pin and save to your heart’s delight. This is an example of George Inness's dedicated page.

One thing to remember when you are pinning and saving is to always note the name of the piece and the artist’s name. You will need it if you share the work with anyone and for the purposes of signing.

When you create your study, you will sign it as “ your name after master artist name”, i.e. “Beth Cole after George Inness.” This tells the viewer that it is a study and you aren’t taking credit for the painting. Very important.

In terms of my process, I use Evernote and its chrome browser extension, so when I want to save a painting to my “learning” folder in Evernote, I just click the icon and I can clip it to Evernote or take a screenshot. Really great tool.

Example of Evernote 

Example of Evernote 

If you don’t use Evernote, you can always pin the piece to a Pinterest board and take it from there. Just be sure you note the title of the piece and the artist name so you don’t get confused later on and wonder, now who painted this? Believe me, it happens.

Tonalist Pinterest Board

Tonalist Pinterest Board

Next up, what I have learned about mixing colors with a master’s color palette.

Thanks for following along, and please chime in if you have comments or other ideas that have worked for you, I would love to hear from you!

--Beth Cole
Soli Deo Gloria