Sargent Studies – A Daily Sketch

Gouache Study of a John Singer Sargent Oil Painting

For the last few weeks I have been continuing with my daily discipline of a sketch a day. I try to do this for 20 minutes to an hour, 5 or 6 days a week, usually in my Moleskine Sketchbook. 

Gouache Painting

Most of my studies have been made with a charcoal pencil. However today I decided to do a gouache rendition of John Singer Sargent’s oil sketch of “Old Man with a Dark Mantle”. Although I would prefer to paint this in oils, the advantage of using gouache paint is that it’s quick drying.

I’ve photographed the palate, brushes and Winsor and Newton paints, together with the reference book I’ve used:

John Singer Sargent Figures and Landscapes, 1883-1899 by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray.

Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray have written some brilliant books on Sargent’s painting. They give a fascinating insight into his work.

Figurative Painting

John Singer Sargent has been foundational in helping me develop my own portrait paintings and drawings which you can see on my website. Careful studies of any great artists work is a great way of improving your own technique and style. The primary way in which you do this is by unashamedly copying some of their work. In the case of Sargent, I’ve also read many books about his work and seen exhibitions of his paintings. This, combined with lots of my own drawings and paintings of his work has brought me to a place of being a more accomplished painter.

I’m sometimes asked to give private drawing and painting lessons to children and adults. The reality behind teaching art is that the pupil needs to be highly motivated and has to put in lots of hours of practise. Lessons in themselves only have real benefit if the pupil applies themselves.

To follow my daily sketches on twitter, go to @adailysketch

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