Warming up with Peter Paul Rubens –

I am repeating some of my favourite warm up exercise to start this course of tutorials.   I hope that some of you have used  my last post ‘Starting From Scratch’ to get the juices flowing….

The Tiger Hunt by Peter Paul Rubens…..(1615)20200409_171312The Tiger Hunt is one of those paintings that permeates all the senses.     It stirs me deeply.     I can hear the noise of the hunt coming off the canvas.    I can smell the sweat of the warriors and animals.        It is alive.

As in any great masterpiece the rhythm and harmony within this painting can only be achieved when all elements of the artwork come together in a unified manner..

I thought it would be a good exercise to work from a photograph of this painting to help us to see and understand it better and at the same time warm up and get the creative juices flowing.

I used the image of The Tiger Hunt only as a JUMPING OFF POINT. to warm up.  

I was not trying to copy it exactly…this is very important.     Working very quickly using watercolours,  I wanted to explore and discover the rhythmic values in the painting…..

Squint your eyes and try to observe the painting broken down into shapes and colour…


I then copied it down to black and white – which helps us to understand and see the structure of a painting better.  


Using a Prussian. blue and burnt Sienna mix I sketched out a very fast watercolour detail which again helped me to see and understand the image.

If you would prefer, choose an image that you would like to explore – and have some fun.    It’s a good way to begin the day.    At the same time we can learn a great deal about the way an artist thinks.      

Think jigsaw puzzle…abstraction…don’t get caught up in the detail. 20200505_133141

If you do this it will set you up for the day….

Over the weekend I will use this image as my ‘jumping off point’ for a tutorial for next week…..watch this space. 

a bientôt


24 thoughts on “Warming up with Peter Paul Rubens –

  1. V.J. Knutson

    “Think jigsaw puzzle…abstraction…don’t get caught up in the detail. ” Exactly what I’ve been trying to teach myself – you’re words bring clarity. Thank you!

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        I have been Skyping since it began and what sapping, FB, Twitter and everything else and so this is all in place for me. I have lovely long conversations with my children every week and others as well. If you can get your Mum on board, I highly recommend. 🙂

  2. Ka Malana - Fiestaestrellas.com

    I enjoy art!!! I remember looking at black and whites and was taught to study my subjects that way and to do studies. I just put some color on paper with kid’s paint and posted it to my blog. It’s so gratifying not to care about what anything looks like! Also working quickly is the only thing I’m doing right now. I made a sketch several weeks ago from a picture of a shaman. I might not be doing it every day but it’s better than nothing… My art is there…. instructing me, reflecting life. (waiting for me to go deeply in whatever what I want or just to play and be frivolous)

    Thanks also for your inspiration here! 💗

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you for this comment. It says so much about allowing ourselves to go with the flow…not to worry about what anything looks like. It’s all about the doing it…not the end result. Play be frivolous and the rest will follow. I begin another VIRTUAL trip to Amish Country USA tomorrow. I was supposed to be there now with my son and his partner and so this is the next best thing:) XX

      1. Ka Malana - Fiestaestrellas.com

        Looking forward to your Amish Country, PA virtual trip!! I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but now live in California. We used to visit Lancaster area during school and learned about the Amish and Mennonites, Happy Mother’s Day 💐💕!!

  3. Judith

    I was fascinated by your post about The Tiger Hunt. Recently I read an article in Artist magazine about an artist who used a famous painting –The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault — as a “jumping off” point to create her own, much different, work. (It is Wedding by Zoey Frank.) I like to use ideas from Artist magazine to create practice projects for myself, so I was planning to find a famous painting I loved and try to break it down into shapes and colors, not making any attempt to re-create the painting itself, but just as a way of “seeing” the harmony and rhythm. I hadn’t done it yet mostly because I wasn’t really sure how to approach the project. Zoey Frank’s article was mind-boggling and interesting to follow, but it didn’t really help me break my planned project down into workable steps. Now, you’ve done exactly that! How can I ever thank you enough! I think the painting I’ll be using as my own “jumping off” point for color/shapes/abstraction will be The Child’s Bath by Mary Cassatt. As a very young child (3 or 4 years old) I had that painting as a puzzle with about 15 or 20 pieces. It was my favorite puzzle. I loved the painting then and still love it now.

    Thank you again for this awesome article! I’m really excited about my own upcoming shapes/colors project. 🙂 And I’m definitely looking forward to “accompanying” you on your virtual trip.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much and I am very pleased that this has helped you. I know The Child’s Bath by Mary Cassatt very well…an excellent choice. I will look forward to seeing what you do with it. Looking forward to having you join my on my VIRTUAL trip..Janet 🙂

  4. davidjrogersftw

    Dear Janet, thank you for the post. The Romantics had such energy, didn’t they, whether painting or poetry? You can feel it. Thank you for the art and the essay. As always we can count on your for beauty and knowledge. My next post will be some of my poetry and I hope you stop by. All is well here. On Mother’s Day our daughetr Alice stopped by and put flowers on our doorstep for Don. She and her famly stood outside in the rain and we talked. Oddly, Janet I find myself these dark days feeling what I must describe as joy. I don’t know exactly why but I feel full of love.. How about you?

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, Yes the Romantics did have so much inner energy…and passion.

      I will look forward very much to reading your poetry…what a treat.

      I am also feeling a sense of joy – of positive change and am thoroughly enjoying this lock down period. Of course I feel very much for those who are suffering whether through illness and loss or fear of no money and work…however, as a world we needed to STOP and so I see this as an enormous gift. My feelings are so intense about what is happening I can’t quite express myself at the moment and so am writing down thoughts as they come.

      I haven’t asked recently, but how is your back? Best wishes to you and Don…and may the flowers keep appearing. Janet :)X

  5. Pingback: A Playful Project | Artistcoveries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.