PAGE 8: Painting a Copy of Jan Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring"

Using Oil Glazing Technique and a Grisaille (Monochromatic Gray) Underpainting

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A second uniform glaze of raw sienna is applied to the girl's tunic, instensifying the color achieved by the first glaze underneath it.

Some yellow and white is scumbled into the wet glaze of raw sienna to bring out the lighter areas of the folds in the fabric.

Another application of yellow is applied to the turban, although in this case the yellow is mixed with some raw sienna to reduce the intensity of the yellow, and make is somewhat more orange. This darker glaze also adds some more appropriate coloration to the shaded areas of the turban.

And, a mixture of white and cadmium yellow is used to bring out the light areas of the turban fabric.

Nearing the final stages, the use of broad glaze applications gives way to the use of detailed glazes, which serve to adjust small areas in order to bring the painting to completion. Edges that are too hard are softened, hightlighted areas that are too bright or too colorful are darkened or neutralized, and close attention is paid to the final effect that the portrait is intended to make. In this case, a glaze of cadmium red has been neutralized with sap green and applied to reduce the intensity of the color of the flesh tones of the face, and refine some of the middle values.

The overall effect is now looking a little less "airbrushed" once the uniform glaze coatings have given way to more "attention to detail", as each facial feature is scrutinized and refined.

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Copyright 2008 Thomas Penrose