I was taught that style was a choice an artist makes whereas manner is something which is not chosen but naturally occurring. Manner, therefore, was to be avoided. In fact, a part of one’s training in Sight-Size was subduing subconscious mannerisms in the student. You must learn to objectively represent nature before you can successfully engage in subjective representations.
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.
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.
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.
Keep your shadows flat, flat as a hat, flatter than that, is a saying of which Mr. Gammell was quite fond. At first glance it might seem like nonsense, but that assumption would be incorrect. Flat shadows are integral to creating the illusion of depth.
After spending enough time on this site, or at an atelier that comes down through R. H. Ives Gammell, you will soon notice phrases like, the big-look and piecemeal seeing. The former is always deemed to be good and the latter, bad. The surest way to avoid the bad and pursue the good is to work on the farthest back straggler first.
Of all the ways we have to check the accuracy of a guess for the placements of a shape’s salient points, triangulation is the most effective. It is an important concept to understand, whether you are Sight-Sizing at life-size, or not, for it allows you to plot all the salient points on your source in a relationally accurate way.
In 1905 John Singer Sargent was commissioned to paint the portrait of Joseph Pulitzer. The sittings would take place in Sargent’s Tite Street studio in London. By this time in his career, Sargent had tired of portraiture. To make matters worse, Pulitzer was irascible. He was also blind.
Gammell taught his students how to see by having them draw plaster casts in Sight-Size. To do so they were to follow specific and progressive steps. Each succeeding step led logically to the next, resulting in a finished cast drawing that was seen and rendered as a whole. This article more fully explores his cast drawing process.
Some claim that art can be created with just about anything. Whether that is true or not, having the proper supplies will make the task far easier. In this article I list the supplies needed for cast drawing and painting, as well as some recommendations for where you might purchase them.
It is likely that you have never heard of Archibald Standish Hartrick. That is not surprising, and I suspect that he was not as well-known in his lifetime as were many of his friends and contemporaries – Sargent and Whistler among them. Nonetheless, He made an outstanding contribution to the written record of Sight-Size.