John Singer Sargent
One of my favourite artists of all time is the American John Singer Sargent. He’s one of the finest portrait painters of all time. Sargent trained under Carolus-Duran in Paris. One of the disciplines that Sargent practised to develop his craft was to make careful studies of the old masters whom he admired. These included Velazquez and Frans Hals.
As I’ve been working on a number of portrait commissions recently, I have found it helpful to adopt the same discipline. I’ve been copying several of John Singer Sargent’s portrait oil paintings. I have found this to be a great joy and delight. Studying Sargent’s paintings in this manner has developed my own ability to handle oils. It has also given me a deeper appreciation of his undoubted skills in handling oil paint and his confident draughtsmanship.
It’s part of my Christmas Exhibition Preview this weekend in Ponteland. It has been painted from observation. I’ve worked directly onto a tinted board with the limited palette which Sargent would have used. The colours I’ve used are Lead White, Yellow Ochre, Light Red and Lamp Black.