Copyright 2014: Justin and Nicola Cooke
Imagine you are at your easel or your table; and you need some advice or an opinion on something.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn to someone working next to you? And just ask: An expert on oil painting maybe; who could demonstrate for you their method by showing you an unfinished painting. Someone who could explain the anatomy of a face; a life drawing master perhaps.
Maybe you would be interested in the views of someone who studied in Paris or Rome. Or who studied perhaps the paintings and drawings of Rubens or Delacroix.
What if it actually was Rubens or Delacroix?
Well that is exactly what the Masterclass section of this site is all about.
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If you want to know about something; maybe some great artist could help you. Did you know Delacroix wrote a journal, John Constable wrote letters…many artists did. Some, like James McNeill Whistler published their lectures. Others, tragically, we know only a little about; as they were not really recognised in their own time. For these, their work speaks for them.
Watteau is one; He died in his 30’s in 1721 a little known artist. Some of his paintings now hang in the Louvre and are quite rightly regarded as masterpieces. But included in the body of work he left are his drawings. We don’t even know the dates of them, which are his early works, which are later. To my mind it is his drawings that show his true genius. Some may have been done purely for his own amusement; they are a hidden treasure. There are many artist that I like but there are few that I would rate as highly as Watteau. Now, Watteau is the sort of person you want alongside you when you’re drawing. Even if he was working 300 years ago.
Antoine Watteau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
All images [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons