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Roger Burnett Art Blog

You can't beat an Old Master

by rogerburnett , September 18, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: life, sketches

Sandy Wilson's score for of "The Boy Friend", includes the following verse from "It's Never Too Late to Fall In Love":

The modern artists of today May paint their picture faster, But when it comes to skill, I say You can't beat an Old Master.

Actually, when it comes to speed, the Old Masters could give modern artists a run for their money, any day of the week.

Eric Hebborn, master forger and author of "Drawn to Trouble" and "False Impressions", reveals how he divined the speed at which the Old Master draughtsmen worked. He then practised so that he could achieve the same seemingly unerring whip of the hand. It is that which makes true Old Masters so convincing.

This brings me back to the benefit of working from life. There is no way that an artist can pick up speed by copying from photographs. It is the urgency to record what one sees at a fleeting glance that develops the unerring whip of the hand.

I made today's sketch of a Caribbean market vendor in a matter of seconds - right there, amongst the limes, sour-sops and plantains.



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