Sight-Size Articles

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.

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Bunker’s Fishhooks

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.

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The Darkest Dark and Lightest Light

Context is everything, or so the saying goes, and it’s so familiar that it’s easy to quickly skip past it. But stop and think about it for a minute. In any given scene all values are unconsciously perceived relative to every other value.

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The Eye Of The Painter

Mentioned before is the fact that Sight-Size is as useful for drawing all visual subjects as it is for cast drawing and portraiture. Why? Because it is the only arrangement which provides the eye of the painter with a one-to-one comparison between the subject and artwork.

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Practical Drawing

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries numerous artists and instructors wrote instructional manuals attempting to show the general populace how to draw. Many of those authors incorporated aspects of Sight-Size into their teaching. Edwin George Lutz, author of Practical Drawing, was one such popular arts teacher.

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Not Just For Portraiture

Although Sight-Size is most often discussed as an approach to portrait painting, Sight-Size is not just for portraiture. In fact, the first written use of the term relates to figure drawing.

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Essential Reading – Mr. Gammell’s Book List

I would imagine that all teachers have a list of recommended books which they consider to be essential reading for their students. Mr. Gammell was no exception. This article passes that list onto you. My sources are a half-dozen of Mr. Gammell’s former students.

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The Eyeballing Game

Mentioned many times on this site is that you will draw better when you have an accurate eye; that learning to draw is actually learning to see. To help you with the process, in early 2016 I wrote an ebook, titled An Accurate Eye. Awhile back an online eye accuracy trainer was brought to my attention. It’s called The Eyeballing Game and it nicely supplements the book’s exercises.

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The World of Light and the World of Shadow

Depending upon how deep you want to go, the principles of light and shade can be quite complex. Nevertheless, everything hinges on the fact that light travels in a straight line. Upon hitting a surface light also reflects back in a straight line. How much of that light reflects back to your eye is dependent upon whether the surface is in the world of light or in the world of shadow.

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Justin Hess

Justin Hess, a Florence Academy of Art alumnus, was kind enough to participate in a phone interview awhile back. He’s an accomplished artist as well as the founder of JHess Studios, a working atelier located in downtown San Francisco.

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Memories of Richard Lack

Few artists of the last half of the twentieth-century had as much impact on representational art as did Richard F. Lack (1928-2009). Despite that, neither his name nor his works are as well-known as are some of his contemporaries like Andrew Wyeth. That is a shame, because were it not for him and his teacher, R. H. Ives Gammell, contemporary art would not be what it currently is today.

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