Sight-Size Helping you accurately draw what you see.

Sight-Size Helping you accurately draw what you see.

Drawing at a different scale than what they see is often a problem for beginning art students.

eliminates that problem.

Which is why many ateliers use it.

Do you struggle with drawing what you see?

  • Does drawing from life intimidate you?

  • Are your drawings disproportionate?

  • Are you unable to capture a likeness?

  • Do you wish you had atelier training?

Learning to draw in Sight-Size can help!

What is Sight-Size? Sight-Size is simply an arrangement of the artist, subject and artwork that allows the artist to see their subject and artwork one-to-one.

You can see an example of this in the photograph at the top of the page, taken from near the artist's vantage point.
-John Singer Sargent painting Mrs. Fiske Warren and her daughter Rachel in 1903.

The Elements of Sight-Size

1. Side-By-Side

Sight-Size Element 1 - Arrange your subject and artwork visually side-by-side.

Your subject and artwork must be visually side-by-side. The size of the drawing depends on the placement of your easel, relative to your subject and your vantage point.

2. Consistent Vantage Point

Sight-Size Element 2 - Choose a proper vantage point.

When your subject and artwork are visually side-by-side in Sight-Size, from the proper vantage point you can see both in one glance and in a one-to-one relationship.

3. Draw What You See

Sight-Size Element 3 - Draw what you see.

Consistent comparison between your subject and artwork through the one-to-one relationship of Sight-Size will help you achieve an accurate likeness of your subject.

You can learn how to draw what you see.

And you can begin today!

How? Through Bargue plate copies and cast drawing.


To help you through the process of learning to draw what you see using Bargue plates in Sight-Size, I created a free PDF guide called Steps to Seeing. The guide, as well as a selection of digitally restored Bargue plate scans are yours for free. Simply fill out the form below.

After subscribing you can expect an email from me containing a download link to your free PDF guide. Then, every week for a month I'll email another Bargue plate scan for you to draw. Additionally, I'll let you know each time I publish a new article on

Learning how to accurately draw what you see can be difficult, especially when your subject is larger than your paper.

Sight-Size eliminates the problem of scale and makes the process of seeing and drawing much easier because your artwork is the same size you see your subject. That is why many of the most successful ateliers in the world teach their students how to draw using Sight-Size.

Due to the one-to-one relationship between your artwork and subject, Sight-Size allows you to easily see shape, value, edge, and even color errors. Your drawing will therefore be more accurate. That is a good thing because accuracy is where likeness is found.

When learning to draw in Sight-Size, what you see is what you draw. There is no scaling, construction, or formula. Sight-Size is purely objective sight. Then, once your eye is trained to objectively see, you can make intentional, intelligent, and artistic choices about deviating from your source. You can also more easily scale because your eye is now trained to accurately see.

My name is Darren Rousar. During the late 80's through the early 2000's I studied and taught at numerous ateliers in the States and Florence, Italy. Since then most of my efforts have been guiding students through print and online.

If you want to learn how to draw what you see, I can help.

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What others have said.

Rutger van Bruggen

Basically you're saving me time, money, stress and giving me a lot of "inside knowledge" that for the most part only the teachers have.

Rob Levin

I’m so grateful to your contributions with the site and the books. I have learned some tremendously valuable lessons that are already helping my drawing and painting. And, most importantly, training my eye to see more accurately!

A. Champlin

Darren Rousar provides helpful tips that only an active, involved teacher can provide. It's clear he has worked with students  learning to see correctly. Each problem is addressed with a solution, helpful tips and encouraging advice.

Featured Articles

An Accurate Eye - Intervals


Intervals are the spaces between points. An accurate eye correctly sees not only singular points and intervals, but ever larger groups of them. Therefore, as you improve your eye’s accuracy for specifics, you should also seek to increase your ability to accurately see in larger segments.


See the Big Shapes

One of the directions often given by Mr. Gammell was that the student should “See the big shapes. See them truthfully and then move on.” This is vitally important advice because if your big shapes are not correct, any additions will also be in error.


The Basement Easel

The third main requirement for a Sight-Size setup is a stable easel. If you are just starting out, it is likely that you do not yet have a formal studio. A basement or spare room will do just as well. This article is about creating an easel that will work in an unfinished basement.


When you can see accurately, you can confidently draw anything you can see.



And begin learning how to draw what you see today!

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After your Free Guide arrives you can expect more free content!

The Sight-Size Cast banner.

Learn Sight-Size cast drawing through the
full-length book,
The Sight-Size Cast!

Learning how to accurately see, as well as draw, is best done through Sight-Size cast drawing. Ateliers exist worldwide to help you do that. But what if you cannot afford atelier training, or there is not an atelier nearby? Or, perhaps you are already in an atelier and would like to supplement that training?

You can learn how to see through Sight-Size, or enhance what you already know with Darren R. Rousar's book The Sight-Size Cast.

Want more in-depth instruction? How about an online course?

Few have the time to attend an in-person atelier. But now you can learn Sight-Size cast drawing in your own home through Atelier Rousar | online and the Sight-Size Cast Drawing online course.