Artwork copies

Highest Standard of Quality – the ideal I strive for

You wish a handmade painted copy after an original of the old masters? Your are looking for an extraordinary present for a private or business purpose?

Your are invited to contact me and to tell me what you need as a commission. I welcome you to visit my workshop, where you can see my paintings in a natural light and convince yourself by the quality of my work.

Where I put special emphasis on in my artwork:

  • authenticity in colour and drawing, if necessary brightening or refreshing the colours of the painted copy in contrast to a darkened original.
  • Rendering of the characteristics of the structure of monochromatic underpainting
  • Building up the nuances of the light in its depth by the glazings according to the right way of painting technique and colour.

A copy of an old master’s painting: A Stillife by Jan Jansz Uyl

In 2008 I copied a stillife showing a set table with tablecloth, golden goblet and glass of wine by Jan Jansz Uyl (ca. 1640) in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin shown below. I strived to approach as much as possible as I could to the original painting starting with the priming and ending with the varnish. I only applied pigments and binders being in common use in 17th century painting: lead-tin yellow for the citron, spanish green (copper green) for the tablecloth, cochenille red and bone black for shadows, earth pigments like yellow and red ochre, umber and lead white. In this coating the painting was built up layer by layer in a mostly glazing manner on an underpainting of opaque monochromatic colours like white, umber and ochre tones.

Knut Helms: Kopie nach Jan Jansz Uyl, Stilleben mit Stangenglas (ca. 1640), Ölfarbe auf Leinwand, 1,10 x 1,40 m, mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Gemäldegalerie Berlin, 2008, Foto Volker Schneider

Knut Helms: Kopie nach Jan Jansz Uyl, Stilleben mit Stangenglas (ca. 1640), Ölfarbe auf Leinwand, 1,10 x 1,40 m, mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Gemäldegalerie Berlin, 2008, Foto Volker Schneider

Jan Jansz Uyl: Stilleben mit Stangenglas, ca. 1640, Ölfarbe auf Eichenholz, 1,43,7 x 110,2 cm, Gemäldegalerie Berlin, copyright: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto Volker Schneider

Jan Jansz Uyl: Stilleben mit Stangenglas, ca. 1640, Ölfarbe auf Eichenholz, 1,43,7 x 110,2 cm, Gemäldegalerie Berlin, copyright: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto Volker Schneider

The work of my painting copies mainly roots in five basics:

  • Research of the reports of science concerning historical painting techniques: secondary literature and historical source books.
  • Profound and comparing observation of the originals in their colouring and brush texture in different situations of brightness
  • If possible: digital photographic documentation of the paintings surface. This makes it possible to seize the scale and the outlines of the motives when copying as well as the paint’s structure without finding any help for the right colouring.
  • Experimenting the plasticity of the painting’s objects in drawings as well as testing paint coating concerning the consistency of the paint in use as well as the composition of pigments and oils in the painting’s coat . This is mainly based on empirical studies, i.e. on what the eye sees, supported by hypothetical analogue conclusions, if scientific studies and analyses of pigments and binders are not present in the case of the present painting, but for contemporary artworks close to the artist’s oeuvre.
  • Documenting the whole process of copying by texts and photographs

Preparing authentic colours

Farbenreiben

With a grind stone of black granite the natural earth pigments like ochre are ground in linseed oil as long as they form a fine smooth colour paste. Grinding of such a colour not being anymore industrially produced exceeds a lot of exercise and physical effort.

c4e52868cc

The finally ground colours are filled in metal tubes.