Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Schoneberg Mona Lisa

Well, here's the old girl, pretty much finished minus the browned varnish layer she'll get once dry. The last weeks have been spent detailing and matching up Mona's face and hands. I settled on a technique of using a smallish (1/8") round brush and laying in barely tinted layers of highlights and shadows with cross hatching-styled strokes. I was inspired to try this by a cartoon Leonardo left of the infant John the Baptist from his Virgin of the Rocks altarpiece, which shows Leonardo's typical style of using very light crosshatching to define forms. It is a technique that yields much control over placement and density of shadows while keeping the paint layer thin and flat for subsequent layers of color. It seemed like something Leonardo may have done.


  1. Wow, what an amazingly project! Can't wait to see the final result...

    1. Thanks, Laura! I'll post a picture of the final, framed painting soon!

  2. Gday mate, as a fellow artist, I tip my hat to you, this is a stunning piece. Can I ask what "Browned Varnish" you have chosen to give it a more aged aesthetic? Cheers mate

  3. Hi, Brodie!

    I found several varnishes made using 16th century formulae made by a company called Groves. I used their Ventian Amber Varnish