Early Portraits

Charles Cecil studio

Inger adheres to and celebrates a method of drawing and painting called sightsize or comparison. She came by this way of working almost by luck and good fortune in 1984 at the Cecil Graves Studio in Florence, Italy. Charles Cecil has become her mentor, and the Charles H. Cecil Studio her educational anchor. This school offers without doubt the best training available in portrait painting in the world, much thanks to the aesthetic standards set by Charles Cecil.

School portrait, 1984

Preparatory drawing

Painting 1984

From being an autodidact who loved Van Gogh and finished portraits of children in two sittings, Inger went to become an "old masters" painter who needs a preparatory drawing and six to eight sittings to finish a portrait.

Inger has taught as an assistant at the school in Florence. Now Inger runs her own program based on the same principles during the hot months of August and September when the regular school goes on vacation.

Sightsize portrait, 1989

The sightsize method

Sightsize is a unique method of drawing and painting. It can be traced back through the works of Sargent, Lawrence, Reynolds, Rayburn, Van Dyck, Rubens and Velasquez to Leonardo da Vinci.

As an introduction to the method, working from the cast is recommended. Inger teaches Workshop I (drawing) and Workshop II (painting) from the cast. See Workshops

Sightsize method

A few words about the method itself. The sitter is posed preferably on a stand. The easel is placed next to the sitter, so that the temple of the sitter is in line with the canvas. The sitter is viewed from a distance at least three times the height of the canvas. Horizontal and vertical measurements are taken from the sighting point with a plumb line. Light and shadow patterns are of utmost importance. Constant light is a neccessity, thus the north light. The painter strives for a value-range the same as in nature and for accurate shapes and proportions. The painter is constantly comparing his work with what he sees, thus the term comparison/comparaison which the French use for sightsize. Sightsize is a way of seeing, and properly understood as Charles Cecil states, is a philosophy of seeing.