Thursday, March 2, 2017

After Singer Sargent



This term, I've treated myself to a watercolour short course at the National Art School. We're up to week three now and I'm loving it. Gina Bruce is an absolutely amazing teacher, who has already introduced me to new skills, as well as being so positive and encouraging about everyone in the class.

This week we had to choose a painting then try and transcribe it – in preparation for plein air painting next week. Once we'd transcribed it once, we had to go again and again, painting the same picture over and over – pulling out all the elements we found interesting and trying to abstract or rework it. I was a little skeptical before we started, it felt a bit like copying or forging (not that I could EVER be skilled enough to reproduce a Singer Sargent). But by the end I was completely in love with the exercise, plus I had an ever greater understanding of the amazing genius behind the artwork. The rapidity with which the colours were applied, the layering and mixing, the depth he managed to achieve, the absence of colour in certain places (which I kept wanting to fill in!) and the skill he had in creating a composition. All astounding. Seriously. Could happily spend days just copying and abstracting masters' watercolours!


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