What’s An Art Study?

An art study is a practice piece created by an artist by drawing, sketching, or painting. This piece is used to create the main piece and helps an artist with planning things like elements to include, color scheme, composition, etc.

All artists at some point have used studies to create their major works. Wyeth, Picasso, Titian, Botticelli, Manet, van Gogh just to name a few. In fact, art historians have traced studies as far back as the Italian Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo’s studies are in museum and private collections around the world.


Study by Michelangelo (1475-1564) Title: Study of a Mourning Woman dated about 1500-1505 Medium: Pen and brown ink, heightened with white lead opaque watercolor (image source: getty.edu)

Years of painting and creating works has helped Robert to be able to create a vision in his mind and transfer it to canvas without the use of studies in most of his works. However, he does sketch or paint studies to plan some of the works that involve a more challenging creative process.

Robert’s Beatles Tribute Series, which he started in 2008, allows him to explore and discover different avenues of surrealism. Interpreting the songs and lyrics of the music of The Beatles like “Hey Jude” to create visual art has taken him on a surrealistic journey….expanding his artistic range, which is how you do an art study (read more about the connection between music and art). Art studies have been a very helpful tool with this tribute series. The Beatles lyrics books he reads and utilizes for inspiration have become his medium for creating art studies. Here are a just few samples of the many studies Nelson has drawn and painted for the special series:

Currently (2020) there are 29 paintings in the main collection with more to be added in the future. Some examples from the Beatles Tribute collection include Strawberry Fields painting and original Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Click on Paul to view the entire main collection of Robert Lyn Nelson’s Beatles Tribute Series.

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