Whether we’re aware of it or not, each painting tells us where we’re supposed to stand. A painting whose artist was aware of the visual impression will position the viewer at the same place on the floor where the artist stood. It’s only at that distance where the painting comes into its proper focus.
All the Articles on the Site
Here is an ever-growing collection of articles related to the Sight-Size approach, as well as some digressions. 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.
The still life stand is the most common piece of studio equipment found in today’s ateliers. Although designs vary, the basic function remains the same – to provide a stable support for casts and still life objects.
In setting out a drawing, this fixing of certain salient points is the first thing for the student to do . . . The next thing to do is to block out the spaces corresponding to those occupied by the model in the field of your vision.
Leonardo da Vinci considered the mirror the master of painters. Translators sometimes take his meaning to be, “the mirror is our teacher.” One might accurately say, the mirror gives us a fresh eye.
In the late Summer of 1885 John Singer Sargent travelled to Broadway, a village in the Cotswolds of south-central England. He was not alone and at his destination was a gathering of artists and writers, later known as the Broadway Group of Artists.
Of the many skills required for successful representational drawing and painting, determining distance is one of the most important. This is true when drawing out of one’s head and all the more when drawing from observation. In fact, when we draw we are constantly measuring.
In this article I take a brief look at William McGregor Paxton (1869–1941). As one of his many artistic descendants I can’t help but be fascinated by him and his work but for the moment I am staying away from his biography. Instead I want to focus on one of his little known theories about binocular vision.
Darren R. Rousar began formal classical art training when he was 16 years old. He has been teaching Sight-Size for over 30 years, to students from age 8 to their mid-80s. Darren is the author of six books, four of which are based on Sight-Size.
Charles Hopkinson was born in 1869, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard he began his formal artistic training at the Art Students’ League in New York. While at the ASL he studied cast drawing under Twachtman and the figure under Mowbray.
Back in 2007, Mr. Hunter (and American Artist) gave me permission to reproduce an interview he did with Richard Goetz of American Artist Magazine. The copyright remains with American Artist, 1970. Other than the diagram, none of the following images were in the original article.