Friday, December 2, 2011

A New Picture!

Hey! I HAVE been working on Mona! This image shows the current state of the panel. Mona's been waiting patiently as I've been out of town working for some time.

This shot shows layers of semi-transparent and transparent glazes on the panel especially in the face. I did two layers of white lead mixed with a little vermillion to mute the underpainting and give a luminous surface to the flesh tones. The white lead mixture and the subsequent glazes of italian burnt umber and black were mixed with sandarac resin and walnut oil to make the glazes.
I'm continuing to refine the underpainting on the rest of the painting as well as the finishing on landscape areas. I've found a supplier of Lapis Lazuli that I'm happy with, and will likely repaint the sky once I have new Lapis paint ground.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

By Degrees...

I haven't posted an image recently. but as the painting is in a state where one has to look rather closely to see what progress has been made, I figured there wasn't much to show. I've eliminated most of the bad lines in my underdrawing at this point, and I'm close to laying in the white underglaze on the skin, to even out the underpainting further and increase the smoky look of the shadows. I've continued toning the dress and arms a bit, and am in the process of completing the shadowing on the threads of the embroidered neckline of the guarnello. I also have refined the white sleeve top that shows through the silk at Lisa's left shoulder (viewer's right)

I'm still quite unhappy with the Azurite and Lapis pigments, and may try regrinding them in a mortar and pestle to refine them further. the graininess has made it difficult to paint the mid-ground landscape well, and I'm not happy with the Lapis glazes in the sky. it's like painting with sand!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just a quick update as to what the state of the painting is so far. I've decided that the underpainting of the face and chest needed to be refined further before I did the white overglaze, so I wiped off the glaze I did previously, and am in the process of obliterating some erroneous lines that were drawn in right at the beginning. Once the underpainting is more correct, I'll reglaze and begin laying color on to the face.

I'm continuing to refine the landscape by Lisa's right shoulder (on the viewer's left). I'll also begin adding more detail to the right side of the landscape soon. If you look by Lisa's right shoulder, you can see where I've begun to indicate where the layers of silk veils will lay over the landscape.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Just finished reading a fantastic book by Victoria Finlay called Color: A Natural History of the Palette. It documents her international journeys to find the original sources of rare, natural pigments. Fantastic!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Here's a close-up shot of the same mountainous area I took a picture of before. I've refined the colors and shapes further, and am getting closer to the final look of the painting. Miles and MILES to go, but the experience is fun and very challenging!

You can see in the right corner of the image that I've added a glaze of lead white over the flesh areas. I'll add more to the lightest areas of skin to help blend shading even further before I start adding glazes of color and shadow. I've also begun to indicate the embroidery on the guarnello.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Animation of Mona Lisa Painting step by step

The video as uploaded isn't as high-res as the one I made, but, you get the idea!