Sunday, March 30, 2008


I am trying to improve my environment painting abilities. I finally got around to completing a painting. I really struggled with this one, but partway through it took on a life of its own. I like parts of it, and if I did it over, I would simplify it a lot, but it was a good exercise.

a detail:

another detail:

Monday, March 10, 2008

John Singer Sargent studies

I discovered the work of John Singer Sargent in my late teens and he has remained one of my favorite painters ever since. I am still awestruck by his ability to express complex and nuanced subjects with just a few expertly placed brush strokes. I remember saving up to buy the Carter Ratcliff Sargent book and spending hours studying the images. As my painting abilities have improved, I have grown to appreciate his mastery even more. I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of his work in Seattle in 2001 and prints do not do his paintings justice. You need to see the paint handling up close to appreciate how amazing he was.

Here are a couple of studies I have done of his paintings.

Closeup of the face.

Here is an image of the original Lady Agnew of Lochnaw:

Here is another study I did of Dr. FitzWilliam Sargent:

Here is an animation of the process. Although it is digital, I tried to approximate Sargent's process. It is interesting to see how flat and two dimensional everything looks until the highlights are placed.

Here is an image of the original: