While the new studio has been under construction I've been doing quite a bit of teaching in various locations. The image to the left is from a class I ran in Sussex which introduced sight-size painting in the context of still life. The sight-size method is where the canvas and the subject are placed side by side and judgments about proportion and colour are made by stepping back to a fixed position. The students produced some really fantastic work and learnt a lot about traditional oil painting techniques, and colour mixing.
The sight-size method, originally used in portraiture, is especially helpful for people new to drawing and painting. Properly understood, it is not merely a measuring aid but contributes to a philosophy of seeing in which the big visual impression is painted and the constituent parts kept in their proper relations. Used in the correct way it is a highly effective means of training the eye to judge proportion, value and colour and often unlocks a degree of naturalism in painting that has sometimes eluded students for years.
Ben Laughton Smith
Contemporary works of art in the classical tradition.