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Master Painting Study: John Singer Sargent – Man Wearing Laurels

October 9, 2016

Digital Art

So here’s my first master painting study ever!  John Singer Sargent’s Man Wearing Laurels.

I’m just beginning to study painting seriously so am still trying to find me feet here.

So what did I learn doing this?

  1. For the initial block-in it was easier to start off with a small canvas (I’m working digitally).
  2. Using a big brush helped my simplify the shapes as I was blocking in.
  3. From a couple of discussions on Discord while I was doing this piece – I decided to learn how to use RGB sliders as this more closely mimics real life physics.
  4. I first estimated the colours and then checked how far I was out with the colour picker.  Turns out the real colours are always darker than I reckoned.
  5. Having been studying light and shadow for a while now I could see where the different types of light and shadows were e.g. there’s a slight terminator/core shadow on the guy’s left cheek, the reflected light underneath his chin.
  6. Sargent seemed to use lots of carefully blended brush strokes as opposed to the large swipes I’ve seen some oil painters use.


And here’s the reference image:


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