Art You Can Make: Trace a Classic



I've been stumbling on lots of interesting DIY art ideas lately, and this might be a favorite.  Recognize that image over the console?  It's a famous Vermeer, made even more famous by the book Girl With a Pearl Earring, and the movie poster of Scarlett Johanssen in this same pose.

It's also a cool line drawing spotted in an Apartment Therapy house tour.

To achieve this look, I would either print a blown-up copy of a recognizeable image from art history and literally trace it, or I would use a projector to get it on a canvas (or directly on a wall, like it looks like they did here.)

I like how sort of undone and unfinished it feels, giving some energy to an otherwise finished (and lovely, simple) room.

This will only work with a non-abstract image!  Still life, portrait, landscape, you get the drill.  This will also only work if the image is so recognizeable that the reference is clear.  Like, if it has been on a poster in a museum gift shop, you're on the right track.  Otherwise it will just look like a sort of amateur line drawing.  I think it's also smart to choose a portrait where there is some sense of mystery to the figure.

Some of the biggies of art history that come to mind include:


Whistler's Mother


Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon


Manet's Olympia


Van Gogh's Self Portrait With Bandaged Ear


The Mona Lisa

I'm completely serious: The Mona Lisa.  Everyone else has knocked it off or incorporated it into derivitave works.  Why not you?

What do you think: could you pull this off?  What artwork would you use?

Heather Peterson