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One of my last pastel painting. A 13 x 13 in in the style of Elizabeth Mowry, an outstanding americain pastelist. You can look at my other studies here.
Why a study? To learn a specific technique, work with a different colour palette and understand the world of an admired artist.
The process goes back to antique times. Masters were giving classes and their students would copy them to learn and enhance their own work. And this in the visual art domain as well as the musical domain. For instance, many musical works first attributed to J.S. Bach (the composer) were later demonstrated to have been composed in secret by his students!
This has been said, be carefull about the copyrights! In painting it’s very important not to imitate the original artist’s signature, otherwise it’s called plagiarism, and it’s illegal. It’s also important to make it clear on the artwork (or at the back of) who is the original artist with a notice as in “In the style of …” or “Inspired by …” And of course these studies can’t be sold, otherwise it’s called a steal of owner rights and it’s also illegal.
Nevertheless, studies are a powerfull learning tool and that’s why there are many artists copying masters in museum all over the world.