Monday, September 28, 2020

Tissot's Creative Use of Photogaphy

A new book on James Tissot discusses his painting techniques and explains how he used photo reference.

According to author Sarah Kleiner, "he had a dedicated photography studio at the Château de Buillon, and evidence reveals that he used the medium to capture poses or other compositional elements. 

In Waiting for the Ferry, 1878, (above), for example, he arranged the tones so that the woman in the light coat stands out against the background, while the man and the boy are dark on dark and daringly cropped off the right side, a compositional trick he shared with his good friend Edgar Degas. 

The reference photo shows Kathleen Newton and her son. The girl's hands are on a sawhorse and they all appear to be holding still for a long exposure.

In a second exposure, she is sitting up more and he is leaning forward. Tissot picked and chose from these variations to get the poses he wanted. 

More in the magnificent new hardcover monograph about James Tissot (1836-1902).

1 comment:

MacDieter said...

Even amazing artists work from photos? Seems I needn´t be ashamed for doing so? Okay, I am far away from being an amazing artist, or even from being an artist, but I often use photos as reference for my "works"!