The other day I wrote about “Sight Painting“, a technique I use similar to a musian’s sight reading that allows me to quickly interpret and paint a scene. I guess the reality is not much interpretation occurs as I’m simply capturing the scene as quickly and accurately (value, color) as possible.

Here’re the 4 random images I selected from my digitial image archive. I displayed each on a TV in my studio. BWT, click any of these images for the full screen version if you’d like to see larger.


Reference Photos – Click to Enlarge

My first step was do paint a wash underpainting, using transparent pigments. I don’t focus on value to much or color accuracy, but just want to kill the white of the canvas and get some nice colors to shine through.

Wash Stage

Wash Stage – Click to Enlarge

These are the final studies. Again, didn’t spend more than 15-20 minutes on each. Thing big shapes, accurate color masses, etc.


Finished Studies – Click to Enlarge

I think I’m most satisfied with the bottom left image of Point Lobos, although in it’s current state I think it’s too abstract (you’re looking down from bluffs through Monterey Cypress at the white water/turbulence. Did you know what it was on first glance?


4 thoughts on ““Sight Painting”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.