|Do you know Sargent's
. . .
Singer Sargent's later portraits
Colors in Sargent's Pallete?
From: Jim Niendorff"
j im email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2003
Great job on the JSS site!
Having read about 5 books on JSS I have yet to come across any information on his palette. He obviously used ultramarine blue and burnt sienna to a great degree, but do you know what his standard palette consisted of?
A very astute question, Jim -- though your not the first to ask. Read on . . . .
Method -- article
in American Artist magazine
Thank you for your wonderful website. It's a treasure trove for an artist like me.
You might want to pass on
on Sargents technique that I've ever come across. It comes out of
Artist magazine- August, 1999-page 20-27 [re-published from the Apollo
Magazine]. The article is by Jacqueline Ridge and Joyce Townsend
the conservation dept. at the Tate Museum and it examines several
from the Wertheimer series as well as the less formal "Vernon
Lee". There are excellent photos accompanying by way of
His palette of colors and procedures are described in more detail than
Charteris or Olson. I believe one of his
-Julie Heyneman who died in 1942 might have published notes
during her studies with him. I haven't located anything on it
Maybe somebody out there knows more on this.
I have a little more to add to the talk on American Artist Mag article on Sargent. I have been fortunate to attend talks given by Richard Ormond and he told us about the original article which appears in 'APOLLO' vol #48 issue 439, 1998. pp.23-30. I have been unable to obtain this copy. The American Artist /Aug 1999 is a GREAT read.
Do you know how we could get a transcript or copy of the Apollo magazine? I think it is a British publication?
I have contacted the Apollo directly and they do not have anymore copies in stock. [The have granted permission to republish it!!!]
I can, also, excerpt a
the American Artist magazine which is an abriviated form of
entire wonderful article.
Sargent mixed lighter colors such as flesh tones by adding to lead white, vermilion, and a selection of other pigments including bone black, on occasion rose madder, and even green viridian. Mixing them together roughly on the palette, he then worked them into and onto adjacent brushstrokes on the canvas to give more subtle variations in tone.
(Jacqueline Ridge and Joyce Townsend; "How Sargent Made it Look Easy"; American Artist magazine; August, 1999, page 29)
Great book on JSS Watercolor method
From: Jack White
WH TJ HN@aol.com
I finally found the book that discusses Sargent's watercolor painting methods. It is "Awash In Color - Homer, Sargent And The Great America Watercolor" by Sue Welsh Reed and Carol Troyen
Learning to Paint
From: Edward Materson
e mat firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002
Looking over my notes I discovered some additional stuff from an article in an 1888 copy of the Art Journal which fairly well discusses the benefits of Sargent's early approach to learning to paint. I will leave that for later.
For now I include the notes I mentioned which are unfortunately not labeled as to book title, etc. Simply "John Sargent". Anyway, here is a start.
His instruction is passed on from two former pupils, Miss Heyneman and Mr. Henry Haley:
breaks added with [p] )
He then with a bit of charcoal placed the head with no more than a few careful lines over which he passed a rag, so that it was on a perfectly clean greyish coloured canvas (which he preferred) faintly showing where the lines had been that he began to paint. At the start he used sparingly a little turpentine to rub in a general tone over the background and to outline the head (the real outline where the light and shadow meet, not the place where the head meets the background)- to indicate the mass of the hair and the tone of the dress. The features were not even suggested. This was a matter of a few moments. For the rest he used his colour without a medium of any kind, neither oil, turpentine or any admixture. "The thicker you paint, the more your colour flows" he explained. [p]
He had put in this general outline very rapidly hardly more than smudges, but from the moment that he began really to paint, he worked with a kind of concentrated deliberation, a slow haste so to speak holding his brush poised in the air for an instant and then putting it just where and how he intended it to fall.
Fri, 17 May 2002
Through cross-referencing another book I have on Sargent I have discovered that the material on Sargent's teaching and methods of work came from Charteris' book "John Sargent" published in the 20's, I believe. Therefore, if you have it or access to it you may be able to get all that I intended to send you. If not, let me know and I will send more of the notes kept by Ms. Heyneman, one of his pupils.
Below is the material I do not think you have. It is from an article in "The Art Journal", dated 1888 by R.A.M. Stevenson. It is particularly pertinent to the subject of copying the work of other artists with a view toward self-improvement.
Subject: Did Sargent use optical instruments to aid in portraiture?
From: Simon Heath
si monj email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Jul 2003
On the issue of
JSS, are you aware of David Hockney's theories on the use of visual
in portraiture of the old Masters. As JSS is perhaps the last great
artist of the traditional school it could be quiet interesting if he
these instruments or not.
"Optical devices certainly don't paint pictures," Hockney said. "Let me say now that the use of them diminishes no great artist."
Yet as he studied prints of five centuries' worth of paintings on a "Great Wall" in his Los Angeles studio, there was an unmistakable gotcha to his mission. He knew that many art historians would be horrified at what he was suggesting.
Did Vermeer use a lens to help him capture the intricate patterns in the folds of a tablecloth? Or Caravaggio, to re-create a curving, foreshortened lute? Even Rembrandt fell under Hockney's gaze. He could not have been looking through a lens while creating his haunting self-portraits. "But," Hockney said, "he might have for the helmets and armor." . . . ]
For a clearer discussion on this matter.
thanks, Simon Heath
It is an interesting thing to think about and I loved the link.
My own thoughts on this is to remember that Sargent was well after the use of cameras and the idea of photography was well established. To think that photographs and optical imagery wouldn't play a part in influencing him, or any artist for that matter, would be like us today denying that computers have any influence on the Graphic Arts. I mean its like the 800 pound gorilla that's sitting there at a tea party -- you might try to pretend she's not in the room, but she just doesn't extend that pinky finger the right way as she holds her cup and saucer.
That's not a very good analogy but I had so much fun thinking of it not use it.
Did Sargent EVER take a photograph and then use it to compare vanishing points, perspective and shadings or use an optical devise in anyway in developing his art? I'm sure he did, but from what I can tell, especially with his alignment with the Impressionists, it was never about capturing it "exactly". Also, in regards to portraiture, he seems to have done very little in the way of sketching out (underneath the paint).
A lot more on Sargent's method coming soon.
Use of photography in Sargent's paintings
From: kristin parker
kp ark firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Natasha, I wonder if you could refer me to anyone doing research on the use of photography in Sargent\'s paintings?
(Zorn's, Sorolla's, Boldini's, Loomis' for that matter!) ...It lives
to) off site]
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