Mar 6, 2012

Sargent Study

Here's another study I did using Art Rage (really love that program) and Photoshop.  This one turned out to be much more difficult than other master studies I've done.  Sargent makes it look so easy.  His portraits have this naturalness quality that you simply can't achieve unless you really slow down and look very carefully.  Besides the fact that I liked the painting as soon as I saw it, I picked this one because, one - it looked like a simple, fairly monochromatic straight-on portrait, and two - it had a lot of thin areas that I was eager to try and tackle.  Art Rage does the thick, impasto paint pretty well, but the thin areas are hard to mimic.  But boy was I wrong about this being an easy study.
Here is a rather rough progression and a detail.  I started with Art Rage and worked back and forth with Photoshop to get the canvas wash satisfactory.  In hindsight, I should have done the initial sketch and block-in with the darks (stages 1 and 3) more carefully instead of rushing in with the heavy paint thinking I could just fix it all later.  I had to do a lot more correcting of the drawing in the later stages because of that.  Overall this was a humbling experience.  You can see the image I was working from here:

And here are some figure drawings from  a week ago.  1 mins, 10mins, and 20 min I think.