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:


Bombproof said...

Wow, this is really great, the animation is very helpful. I saw your post on eric canete's blog. I haven't pick up my wacom in a while, but now I really want to! Sargent is the greatest, thanks for the inspriration!!

gousman said...

wow, Mark!!!

aermio said...

these are excellent studies. i have only seen one of sargent's paintings in person at stanford's kantor museum a few years back. his brush work is phenomenal. do you like zorn as well?

Marc said...

Zorn is great too. I only discovered him a few years ago and he has become a favorite of mine. Sargent was the painter that made me fall in love with painting.

shou' said...

Lovely studies! They're very inspirational and makes me want to throw some paint on a canvas.

If you like Sargent then check out Winslow Homer.

Chad Weatherford said...

Awesome... I did a Sargent study a while back, but I think i may have been a little over meticulous about copying every stroke. I like how you didn't concern yourself with making an exact just learned through the process.

Marcelo Vignali said...

I'm so impressed that you took the time to study these paintings. Sargent and Zorn are my two favorites.

Marc said...

Thanks Marcelo!

Every time I look at Sargent's brushwork, I am both humbled and inspired. Zorn is also a big inspiration.