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.
2. Consistent 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.
How? Through Bargue plate copies and cast drawing.
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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The latest Sight-Size articles.
What is a sharp? There are many answers, each specific to one of our senses (the same is true for the opposite – soft). Foods, like some cheeses, can taste sharp. Roadkill can smell sharp. A musical note can sound sharp. The edge of a razor can feel sharp. The edge between two distinct forms can look sharp. In all cases, the concept of sharpness is relative. Equally important is that in all cases sharpness is not ever-present.
Many children in America learn to play baseball early in life. One of the first principles commonly taught is to not choke the bat. Choking the bat means gripping it too close to the top. But there are situations when choking the bat may be a good thing and some players routinely do it. The way an artist grips their instrument is as important as a baseball player’s grip on the bat. And as in baseball, it’s important to know when to choke the bâton.
Although some may prefer to always work in Sight-Size, not all do or are able to all the time. Furthermore, not every subject or scene lends itself to the Sight-Size arrangement. In those cases the only other option is comparative measurement. Scaling your drawing should be no trouble for you if you’re skilled in seeing through Sight-Size. Since it is a distinct skill, however, it only makes sense to train that ability. And once you do, you’ll have gained a comparative eye.
When you can see accurately, you can confidently draw anything you can see.
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Learn Sight-Size cast drawing through the
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.