Tip File: How to Paint Like John Singer Sargent

Magnificent. Spectacular. Masterpieces. The work of John Singer Sargent is beyond my own ability to describe. I fall in humble awe of his work, and admire those who strive for excellence, as he did. Such is the intention of the John Singer Sargent Deluxe Collection, sponsored by Richeson Art. Before I go on to tell you what’s included, please note that there is a very limited quantity of these available, so if you’re considering treating yourself to this collection, don’t delay.

It features the book John Singer Sargent (with 338 illustrations), a Grand View Confident Avant-Garde palette, a Grey Matters synthetic oil set, a one-year subscription to The Artist’s Magazine and the September issue, which features the article “An Insolent Kind of Magnificence” by Jerry Weiss, on the works of Sargent.

How to paint like John Singer Sargent | ArtistsNetwork.com

The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy (1907; oil on canvas, 28.375×22.25) by John Singer Sargent

Weiss writes: “‘No more paughtraits,’ John Singer Sargent once famously announced. ‘I abhor and abjure them and hope never to do another, especially of the upper classes.’ Ambivalent about commissioned work, he simultaneously produced a lifelong series of less formal portraits. Some 90 such pieces–many of them painted for his own pleasure or as gifts–may be seen in ‘Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends,’ on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until October 4.

“The paintings and drawings represent Sargent’s friends and colleagues; some are seen at leisure, others are observed singing, dancing or, most often, painting. As such, the show endeavors to reveal something of the private life of the artist, focusing especially on Sargent’s affiliations with the avant-garde. Although the exhibition proposes that Sargent’s informal work allowed for more ‘radical’ approaches, that’s stretching things. Even his sketches are highly controlled exercises in style. The self-consciously performative aspect of his art is always at the fore; the work is clever at the least and at best spectacular.”

Order the John Singer Sargent Deluxe Collection now (remember–this is a limited-time offer). These resources will help you learn how to paint like John Singer Sargent, and so will the helpful tips below.

Paint magnificently,
Cherie

How to paint like John Singer Sargent | ArtistsNetwork.com

Gondoliers’ Siesta by John Singer Sargent (1904; watercolor, 14×20)

How to Paint Like John Singer Sargent

Tips from Christopher Schink, in the September 1999 issue of The Artist’s Magazine:

  • Choose subjects with interesting light and shadow patterns.
  • Design unconventional divisions of space and place your subjects in unexpected spots in your composition.
  • Apply your first watercolor washes in simple fat shapes.
  • Work rapidly—over wet or dry areas—using your round brushes to finish the painting with varied, descriptive marks.

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