One of the first things beginning painters want to know is how to physically put paint on the canvas. There are many options: you might stroke it, dab it, or scrub it, etc. In a sense, your brush stroke is like your handwriting which differs with each individual. Such was the case with Bunker’s fishhooks.
Articles about Sight-Size
Here is an ever-growing collection of articles related to the Sight-Size approach. Many of these articles expand on the lessons I teach my own students. Others are of more historical interest. And yes, many contain promotional content to my free guide, books, and online courses. You can learn how to see accurately so that you can successfully draw what you see. Therefore, all of the content I produce is centered on helping you do that.
One of the first shading techniques I was taught to use was called a rain from heaven. This meant shading in parallel lines, and usually at a 45 degree angle. As far as I can tell the phrase has now fallen out of fashion, regardless, what it represents is still valid.
Tom Dunlay is a Boston-area artist who specializes in cityscapes and outdoor figure painting. In the early 70s he was a student of both Robert Douglas Hunter and R. H. Ives Gammell. Tom and I met online a few years ago, through Facebook, and recently he agreed to a phone interview.
Explaining the issues with piecemeal seeing to a student is sometimes difficult because our eyes are so trained to look at specifics – the can’t see the forest for the trees mentality. Unfortunately, when we see piecemeal we oftentimes forget that the visual aspect of the parts is always affected by the whole.
One of the things I did before writing Cast Drawing Using the Sight-Size Approach was to research some of the methods for teaching cast drawing outside of Gammell’s lineage. Rather than let the unused fruits of that research go to waste, I present some of it here.
What happens when we squint? Most atelier students know the answer, or at least part of it. With this article I hope to open everyone’s eyes a little and to perhaps shed some light on the value of squinting.
Much of the activity that takes place when learning to draw is centered on developing an accurate eye. In fact, when a teacher critiques a student’s work, he or she is essentially looking for inaccuracies. Over the last few articles I have outlined some specifics, relative to what a student can do to improve their visual accuracy, and in this article I’m going to layout an overall plan.
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.
Few skills are learned in bulk. They are learned one step at a time. Take learning to play the piano for example. We all know that budding pianists spend countless hours practicing scales. Why is it any different for learning how to draw?
There is a natural tendency when learning Sight-Size to measure first. But if you do this, you are drastically limiting your opportunity to train your eye to see. A better way is to habituate yourself to the guess and check.