Class Demo: Sargent Copy
As part of my watercolor class at Syn Studio (which I am hoping offer again next January: five spaces left I believe: register here). I had the students doing a master copy, (or a work from a photo, their choice).
I found some time to do my own – a copy of a Sargent. I wasn’t attempting to get the drawing perfect, this was only about an hours work, demoing in class. Mainly I wanted to see if I could reach the same values in three Tea, Milk, Honey passes.
Achieving sufficient contrast is an obsession with me. I love contrast. Comes from many years of drawing with pen and ink I suppose. I’m always feeling watercolor is at risk of looking pale.
Things I would do if I wanted to really get this right:
1: Work from a better reproduction. I just had a jpg to work from.
2: Cotton paper with more texture (Arches 300 probably). I was using Canson Montval machine made paper. Which is fairly slick, lacking texture.
3: Sables. I am always telling people Sable brushes are not absolutely necessary. Now, in trying do some of the dry brush that I’m seeing Sargent’s sketch, I’m really noticing synthetic fibers don’t do the job. They don’t splay out as naturally, and don’t hold a ragged shape when ‘stabbed’.
4: Deeper pigments. I think I’m seeing Indigo blue? something other than the Sap Green/Prussian/Burnt Sienna I used for my dark
5: Practice. Of course, goes without saying. My own brushwork is clumsy by compare. But if I might be so bold – I can tell if I invested effort in this, it would be possible someday. That’s good enough for me for now.
Here’s a larger shot: