"Horses of Roan - more preliminary sketches" - 5 x 7" approx. graphite on paper.
Copyright 2007 (still sounds weird) Maggie Stiefvater.
Okay, today I worked some more on my sketches for the John Singer Sargent project, because I read this following passage in his words:
"A sketch must be seriously planned, tried and tried again, turned about until it satisfies every requirement, and a perfect visualization is attained. A sketch must not be merely a pattern of pleasant shapes, just pleasing to the eyes, just merely a fancy. It must be a very possible thing, a definite arrangement -- everything fitting in a plan and in true relationship frankly standing upon a horizontal plane coinciding in their place with a prearranged line. As a plan is to a building, so must the sketch be to the picture." From: http://www.goodbrush.com/misc/painting_lessons/sargent_notes.pdf
After reading that, I realized that I had not done nearly enough prep work. I hadn't tried more than two positions on the horses. I hadn't tried different crops, groupings, value patterns . . . No, I'm still nowhere close.
But with the sketch up top you see that I'm closer. A little. I brought them closer together and changed the crop since my intended canvas is a whopping 30 x 40" which is more square. I knew I wanted the two horses farthest away to be darkest but the jury is still out on which horse is going to be my focal point and how to treat the foreground. More study is needed, I think, to see what Sargent would've done.
But there's still a lot of January left, right? I would like to call y'all's attention to my Fine Line Artist friends who have now begun to blog their progress on this project.
Katherine Tyrrell's blog, full of information and a wonderful breakdown on her process.
Nicole Caulfield's blog, tackling a still life in Sargent's style.
I have a few sketches from readers so far, but please, I would love for everyone to try this who has even the slightest inkling, so please, google Sargent's work, get excited, and email me your sketches and blogs! And keep those suggestions and comments coming!