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.
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.
John Collier (1850-1934) studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany and at the Slade school under Edward Poynter. He was a respected portrait painter and painted many of the famous people of his time.
Leopold Seyffert studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Anschutz, William Merritt Chase and Cecilia Beaux. In early to mid-twentieth-century America he was very much in demand as a portrait painter.
Jules Garibaldi (Gari) Melchers, like John Singer Sargent, was one of those late nineteenth-century American painters who spent years abroad perfecting their craft and establishing their career.
In 1903 Frederick Fiske Warren commissioned Sargent to paint a group portrait of his wife and daughter. The sittings took place in a room of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Fenway Court. Midway through the painting a photographer was brought in to document the process. Notice the placement of the canvas, the models and Sargent himself.
Henrietta Rae’s interest in art began at an early age. After two years of drudgery at the Queen Square School, she began studying art in the Antique Galleries of the British Museum. She was only 15 at the time.
One early proponent of Sight-Size was Scottish painter Sir Henry Raeburn. The most extensive biography on Raeburn is Edward Pinnington’s, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. Written in 1904, it is still the most often quoted when it comes to writing about Raeburn’s painting technique.
Sickert’s instructions for how to go about drawing the figure, attributed to Lord Leighton, are textbook Sight-Size. True enough, putting your easel eighteen feet away from the model and then standing an arm’s length away from it, results a seven to ten inch figure.
Gilbert Stuart was one of America’s great portrait painters. This self portrait was done while Stuart was in England, studying with another American ex-patriot painter, Benjamin West.