I have to admit that I love to copy the work of Old Masters, because every time I did it, I learned so much about technique and gained ever so much more appreciation for the artist's skill at handling of composition, color and brush handling.
My first old master copy was the one of Vermeer's "Milk Maid" in 1999. I loved working on the setting and was just thrilled when it all came together. Later I tried my hand at Bridgeman's "Petite Somme" and got daring enough to try to paint my daughter as the girl lying on the divan.
This self-portrait was painted in 2000 after Jean Léone Gerome's "Veiled Circassian Beauty". Those star thingy-dings, where remnant from a painting underneath. At the time I thought it added interesting texture. I think that's now up for debate! LOL
My last Old Master copy was that of Jean Léon Gérôme's "Bashi Bazouk". As you can see each painting shows how my work has evolved. I am sharing my first feeble attempts, because it is important to see how each painting can lead to valuable lessons learned, which in turn lead to creating much stronger paintings.
I have all these paintings hanging at my home as a reminder of my artistic journey. There are days in every artist's life, when you feel rather inept. The competition is fierce and there are always other artists who you thin paint better, paint faster, are endowed with an imagination that is out of this world,etc... All given truths, but it is also important to note that those artist we judge ourselves against have just about the same misgivings about their work. That's when it is good to look at one's accomplishments and aim for another Old Master's copy for a boost in attitude!
Here are great sites for motivation:
High quality art image site at