Do you have a favorite painting? One of my favorites in the world is "Resting", by Antonio Mancini. Every time I visit the Art Institute of Chicago, I make a beeline for this painting to marvel at his loose treatment of shapes, thick paint, and rich color. But what always gets to me the most is that glassware on the table! How on earth did he do that? I stand in wonderment while my companions drift into other rooms. I can never tear myself away.
Dailypaintworks had a challenge last week, to copy a master painting. Julie Ford Oliver, a painter I've admired for years, decided to copy a Mancini painting, and she inspired me to swallow my fear and take on the challenge of a Mancini myself!
I started out with a flat brush and quickly found out that I couldn't get his haphazard patterns this way. I switched to a palette knife, and I was off to the races. Most of my time was spent on the background. I couldn't proceed to the glassware until the background was well established. I didn't want to put in a lot of work on the objects if I had to go back in and fuss with what was behind them.
To really get a loose effect, I had to stand back from my easel and let my whole arm move with the knife. At times I was terrified, and at times I was elated. The second half of the challenge is to create a new painting inspired by the painting we copied. I hope I can find the energy to tackle it. For now, I think I'll raise a toast to Mancini and thank him for the lessons he taught me today.