At the IMC, Donato told me that if I wanted to instill my art with some of the Old Masters' grace and beauty, I needed to go study a ton of paintings and statues in detail-- not passively looking at art, but locking it into my muscle memory by drawing and painting studies. So I came home and went to the library and got a stack of books about artists I admire. I started with Caravaggio. He's not my favourite (am I allowed to have favourites?) but his paintings are very dramatic, full of interesting anatomical bits and very vivid lights and darks. I also want to improve my anatomy and value skills, so I can't really go wrong with Caravaggio.
Study of Penitent Magdalene, c.1594.
Study of The Inspiration of St. Matthew (detail), 1602.
Study of Madonna dei Pellegrini (detail), c. 1603.
Study of The Seven Acts of Mercy (detail), 1607.