Caravaggio Copy (cont.)

I have reached a point in this painting where I’ve started to kick myself for the hasty drawing I did initially. Or more precisely, I’m kicking myself for not correcting that drawing. Errors in figure placement and proportion are pretty evident by now. Reluctantly, I resolve to work around these errors rather than take several steps backward to fix them. I talked myself into this position for a few reasons, most notably that this is not a master-copy painting; this is a trompe l’oeil painting (or, will be). A master-copy painting, in my opinion, should be done as faithfully as possible. This goes, of course, for the appearance of the thing but also for the technique. My painting, as you can see by the progress image below, is far from faithful on both accounts.

In a way, compromising as I have is kind of a blessing. While I’m still after the gist of Caravaggio’s picture, I’m moving the figures around a little and changing their poses a bit as needed. Blasphemous as this may seem, it helps me to overcome perhaps the greatest obstacle in my painting: its size. My painting is quite small. I mentioned previously that the original by Caravaggio is rather large; to be specific: Caravaggio’s painting measures 56.75 x 76.75 inches and the corresponding image in mine measures 8.25 x 11.25 inches. This means that moving something a couple inches in the original corresponds to a few millimeters in mine. For the sake of my sanity and the prospect of finishing this painting in a reasonable time-frame, I’m OK with these shortcuts.

That is… I’m OK with these shortcuts, with the condition that I make a faithful master-copy (with a measured drawing) at some point soon.

WordPress (This blog)

I’m going to try WordPress as a blog engine for a while. In the past I made my own from scratch. But I don’t enjoy web design, and I always dreaded adding to it; not the prospect of writing, just the notion that I’d have to do everything manually (and I fully admit that I may well have been doing it the hard and/or wrong way).

So, for the time being, my original blog remains: and my new blog (this blog) will be

Please bear with me as I learn my way around WordPress.

Caravaggio Copy

Judith Beheading Holofernes (detail, in progress)

Slow progress on the Caravaggio copy. It should be noted that my copy is quite small… the head in my painting is about the size of a quarter. Caravaggio’s was about life sized. Also, for those not familiar with the original (and I’ll take a moment to say ‘Shame on you!’), wikipedia has a good reproduction. The painting is called Judith Beheading Holofernes and it’s quite beautiful. (Politely, I ask not to compare mine to the original too closely, especially at this point.)

Speaking of the reproductions- Take a look at the variety in color according to the various images.

Google Search: Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio

Obviously, this is an issue of some importance when attempting a copy. My solution was simply to pick one that I thought looked the best. Sadly, having never seen the painting in person, I had to make that decision based on the versions I’ve seen in various books, and my own best guess.

Then, there’s the issue of printer and monitor calibration. The image on my screen may look different on your screen, may print differently on my printer or yours, and so on. I just eyeballed it and opted to live with what I got.

Officially, if one were making a forgery caliber copy (and couldn’t do it at the museum in front of the original–which, with the changing policies on museum copying is becoming more and more rare), the best bet would probably be to order a print from the museum which housed the painting. This is, by no means, a guarantee of accuracy, but one could assume that the closer the printer is to the original painting, somebody is making the necessary adjustments.

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