Master Copies – 6 Sketches and a Reflection

Learning Objectives: Students will explore the principles of design through sketching a master painting of their choice.

Students will generate a copy of at least one of these paintings.

Students will complete a total of 6 sketches in their sketch books of one the following paintings.




Las Meninas – Diego Velazquez – 1656    – 318 cm × 276 cm (125.2 in × 108.7 in)  approximately 10ft- 9ft



Annunciation  Leonardo da Vinci   circa 1472-1475  – 98 cm × 217 cm (39 in × 85 in)  or 3 ft tall and 7 ft long.




The Arnolfini Portrait  – Jan Van Eyck  – 1434

82.2 cm × 60 cm (32.4 in × 23.6 in) or approximately 3ft x 2ft.


Detail of Mirror of Van Eyck


Napoleon Crossing the Alps – 1801 – Jacques-Louis David  (102.5 inches x 87 inches  or approximately 8.5 ft by 6.4 ft. )


Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005) – Kehinde Wiley

108 x 108 in. (274.3 x 274.3 cm) or approximately 9 ft by 9 ft.




After you have completed sketches 1,2, and 3-

Sketches 4,5, and 6 will be gesture drawings of your master painting.

4- gesture draw the people in your painting with full detail as well as adding the outline of all objects in your painting.

5. Gesture draw just the people in your drawing.

6. Complete and abstract drawing with as few lines as possible where people can still know that it is your painting – capture the essence of the painting.

All 6 sketches are due Friday 10/24. Monday 10/20 will be the last class day to work on them,

All students will reflect on their master copy study. Questions for reflection –

Artist Statement/Comments:  Choose 2 of the Principles of Design and describe how your artist uses them in the painting that you studied – approximately 60 words (1-2 paragraphs) on each element of Design. Use the vocabulary of the elements of art and the principles of design to reflect on the following questions:

What was the most successful part of the work? What part of the work that was the least successful?

Principle 1:

Principle 2:


What did you learn from studying your painting?




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Part of the best Fine Arts Program in the state quite possibly the Nation!

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