A Master Copy: John Singer Sargent

A Master Copy: John Singer Sargent

For the second major assignment in my digital class this term, we had do reproduce a painting by John Singer Sargent. They provided us with 10 to choose from and, all were portraits of some sort. Being me, I picked what was probably the hardest one, since it has a lot going on and two figures. But I loved the red in it.  It’s Le verre de porto (A Dinner Table at Night):

original painting

First Week

This was actually a two-week assignment, and the first week I did the underdrawing and (most of) the background. In some ways this was a tough drawing because all the things were far apart so getting them position right relative to each other and the borders of the painting was tough. I was pretty happy with the drawing, although I realized I mess up the woman’s head and body and tried to fix it later in the painting, and actually made it worse. Here is the drawing:


And here is the background painted (everything but the background lamp—I was tired):


(I’m honestly not sure what happened with that white spot in the middle—some errant erasing. The woman covered it later.)

Second Week

I did the final painting in many layers. The background was a layer, then the background lamp was its own layer. The table and each object on it were each its own layer, and the man and the woman were each a layer, too. Here’s the final version I submitted:

final work

I’m actually pretty happy with this. Her head is too big (I think what happened is I made her body too small, and then the top of her head didn’t line up where it should against the background lamp, so I made that happen, but just by making her head bigger, which was the Wrong Thing to Do). It also looks like I may have forgotten to finish her hands. But I like a lot of the things on the table, the glass and metal things reflecting light pretty accurately. The bottom right flowers do look terrible. But overall, I think I captured it reasonably well.