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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

John Singer Sargent

Sargent study, by Richard Piloco
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In class last week, we talked about making copies of Artists work for the purpose of understanding how they group their values, used color and handling of paint... etc. Nothing works so well as a diligent study of a painting you wish to understand better. You may think you 'get it' by viewing a good print but it's surprising how much deeper your understanding will be when you copy it.  Many years ago, I made a copy of  Dr FitzWilliam Sargent,  John Singer Sargent's father.  Sargent's painting is a bit of a caricature when compared to his oeuvre.  But it's a great example of his directness in application of paint.  I painted my copy alla prima (no drawing prep, all at once) to keep in the spirit of the original.  I was surprised how simple his large shapes were conceived, and held, through to completion of the study.

    So, find a good print of a painting you love and break it down, understand it on a much deeper level.  Then bring that new found knowledge into your own work!


  1. Very good painting, and very good post! I have done this and I always feel I've gotten a more personal understanding of the painting.

  2. Thanks Bill, I was amazed at how much I didn't see in the reproduction. Once I made the copy, I realized, very often I was not looking at images hard enough.

  3. it is true as your brain responds on a more analytical level. and as i view this painting, i respond as a viewer and consider you have caught a special moment which i think can only be expressed by you.

  4. You really have a way of words. Great style of delivering the information and I could relate to it. Such a great information for me. Thanks for this. Damiana