DRAWING WORKSHOP 001: Copying the Work of Rubens


I havent really ever done a copy of a master before, but I am having real fun with this!:smiley: Definately going to go on and paint it… may take me some time…

Here’s the line work:


Just wanted to toss in my version. It’s coming along slowly. David’s head is driving me insane!!
It is too small and the features are not ‘just right’.

I’m being very careful about this. Picking out colors ‘by eye’. They are rather different from the original but hopefully not TOO MUCH.

Obviously, it’s not much more than a sketch and is unfinished. Will keep it up, though.


the proportions in my first sketch were bothering me too much, so i went back and fixed them as much as possible. there’s still some off, but it’s as close as i’m going to get i think.

the legs on the figure are unbelievable, i barely even dared to try and copy them.


WOW!!! Everyone’s posts are looking great!!! :thumbsup: It’s AWESOME to see this many posts this early! Keep up the great work, guys!!! :bounce: Also, feel free to post updates! :slight_smile:

Yay! I finally got paperclip to post!!! :bounce:



I think this “Ruben’s” guy needs to be joining the regular threads for anatomy and gesture practice - I think his proportion is nowhere!:scream:

I’ve made a start three times now, but I just dont buy David’s pose. The top half of his left arm seems far too short and his torso seems too long. The direction of his left leg v’s his right seems really odd also - or is this all in my head?:shrug:

Going to try again after some food. Perhaps that will help me resolve this. Will try to have something on-line later tonight.

EDIT: If I could “top the Sandwich guy” <JOKE> RebeccaK, then I will let you keep the $50 - because I’ll be off around the famous courts of Europe, selling my skills to famous Kings, Queens and Nobles etc for vast sums of money like he no doubt did! :smiley:



"Reuben"? Like the sandwich? :scream: Hahaha! How DARE you question the Master Draughtsman???!!!  Lol, that's pretty funny! :)

Just, er...go with it ;) ~ you're guaranteed to get something out of copying this, even if it is "flawed". :) And, if you can improve on the Master drawing, I will personally give you $50. :)

I’ll post some comments later, but I do want to keep this focused on GROUP critique ~ so PLEASE offer your advice and crits for other peoples’ work.

ALSO ~ I noticed that people are posting updates, which is GREAT!!! I think that the second, third, and fourth times that you copy the SAME image, is when you REALLY start to see things. The first go is almost always a throw-away attempt for me ~ I’ve copied the same images MULTIPLE times o’er the years. 'Course, back then we didn’t have tv… :scream:

EDIT: hahaha! The only “nobles” these days are the likes of Britney Spears. I dunno if she’s interested in classical art…:shrug: :smiley:

Thanks!!! :slight_smile:




You need to work more on your proportions, david’s right arm seems like it is only consisting of biceps, you forgot the shoulder again how many times do i have to tell you this? Work on deltoids more and remember that they exist. I know you can do better, and please for art’s sake stop painting fabric you can’t do it right. Also you can not do portraits good, make them wear a gas mask or something and save us the trouble of seeing those ugly faces.



Lol!!! Hahahahaha!!! Poor Rubens…now I’ve put him on a pedestal, you guys are turning him into a pinata!!! Yargh! Is nothing sacred? Cradles book of Rubens in arms protectively. :scream:



are we going to the more masters copies? albrecht durer(he has to learn how to draw fabric too) norman rockwell(everything but portraits, he sucks at portraits):smiley: ok i’m not going to flood this topic anymore, good work everyone, if i can find more time i’ll give it a shot too.

edit: norman rockwell’s “gossip” would be a great portrait study for everyone i guess



Yup, I think it will be great to have two concurrently running continuous threads: one for Master Copies, and the other for Life Drawings. Next week, I’m going to see what I can do regarding the latter and getting models (we’ll see…) :slight_smile:

Look forward to seeing your work! :slight_smile:



Guys, I think you are doing a great job! I just wanted to add a few tips about figuring out a complicated (and apparently flawed!) Master Drawing:

Obviously, for this Demo I have traced the image. I actually encourage people to trace images this way, to get used to the Lay-In concept, and to figure things out in their own way. For your final drawings however, do not trace (as I know people are not doing, which is good :))

~Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

Let me know if you guys have difficulties seeing the gif.




Great tips rebecca! Thanks! You are so helpful in this forum… where do you find the time to do anything else?!

I might go back and correct areas of my preliminary sketch, but i started blocking in already so i’ll just try and correct it at this stage instead. Heres where I’m at now… found it hard, as usual, to get nice skin tones.:hmm: Also will shrink the battle in the bg.


Heres my first couple of hours at it. (After food and some TV:))

I know he looks a bit lonely on that white sheet all by himself - but I promise in the next day or so I will give him some friends. :smiley: Crits always welcome of course, (unless its about spelling the name R(e)uben’s…)



Thanks a lot! Yep, I spend a lot of time on the forum, but I greatly enjoy every minute of it! Seeing everyone working hard to improve and contributing their work is just an incredible reward! So thanks to you and everyone for doing such a great job! :slight_smile:

I have said this before and I will say it a million times again :) ~ [b]the main thing in a painting is not [color=Orange][color=PaleGreen]COLOR [/color]but VALUE. [/b][/color]Rubens, as a painter, used VERY thin washes over his Drawings ~ the order of importance in his, as well as any great master painter is (excluding Composition): 

[b]1. Drawing[/b]
[b]2. Value[/b]

Oh, look! Color is in a 1 point type,  it must not be very important!!! Heh! :)

Anyhoo, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Great to see your work!! Thank you for posting! :)


Looking nice so far! And I see that you have a good sense of priorities:

1. Food 
2. TV
3. Drawing
4. Value


My #1 suggestion is to immediately, before ingesting any more food, watching any more tv, walking the dog, or swimming, is to FILL the background with a mid-gray. Since Values are all RELATIVE, they need to have a background to which they can be relative.

But other than that, it looks like you're doing a great job, and it will be cool to see your final results! :)

This thread is shaping up [i]really [/i]nicely!!! :)



On the back of RebeccaK’s comments I have added a mid grey background + somemore basic “value.” Its as rough as sticks at the moment, but it will get better as the days go on. Really it will… at least I think it will… :slight_smile:




Keep going, we believe in you! :slight_smile:



Hi Rebecca :slight_smile:
Nice idea this virtual Workshop. I’ll try and do some copies this weekend, free time permitting.

Hey, that David guy looks a lot like the Frodo character in the LOTR movie. LOL! :eek:



lol that is true hehe

Edit: Oh now that I posted. I so want to be around to doing these things but I just seemed to enter a few good painting times since the last few projects and I want to keep that going.

Great works so far very impressive.


drawing update:



Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! :scream: Lol, that’s hilarious. Only tonight, the phrase, Oh, dear dear Sam…went randomly through my brain ~ ha!

And here I thought I was the only wacko on the block. Good to meet you! :wink: