View Full Version : WIP La belle ferronniere

04-23-2013, 02:35 AM
This will be my first attempt at a master painting and I hope to learn a lot.Im doing this on a wood panel that was part of a entertainment center or some other furniture. Used the side that is real wood and not the fake stuff that looks like wood that is on the outside. Size is 17.3x13.1.
Ive done many layers of gesso. 15 or more. Trying to get the right smoothness. Found out its best to water down the gesso and let it set itself so there is no or little brush marks in it.
Ive started the drawing using the grid method and something doesnt look right so some help on that would be great. First I think Ill need to adjust the eyes a bit. The other thing is that is seems stretched. More elongated than the original but I did the grid correctly and cant what the problem is. Im starting to think its just trick of the eyes because I having added the shadowing or anything yet. So maybe once I start the painting it will look better. I dont think Ill want to redo draw the grids and the entire thing over again. It would give me the same results Im sure of it.
After the drawing Im going to put a few coats of clear matte gel acrylic. Sand a little then do the imprimatura.
I have cropped it a bit. Wanted the figure to be larger and felt for learning this I wouldnt really need to paint the wood/table or whatever it is.
Let me know what you think so far and Ill be updating my progress.

Here is the original painting by Leonardo da Vinci: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_belle_ferronni%C3%A8re

Grid I used.


Drawing so far.


Closer look at the face.


04-23-2013, 10:47 PM
Update on what Ive done. Changed the eyes but not too much and finished the rest of the drawing. i erased of the darkness under the eyes and that seemed to help. I found that the clothes were more difficult than the face by far. Its very dark and dark to tell what is what. Only thing I didnt do was the fine detail around the collar. its a pattern of some kind and not sure I want to draw that in or just do a dark or black color then do the fine detail over it when it dries.


Changes made to face.


ianos dan
04-24-2013, 03:22 PM
Looks good so far evan3585 ! l think a kind of sanguine or reddish chalk would have helped more ,because ,if you are not fixing the drawing ,it will mud your colors.the best way it's to make the drawing on a separate sheet of paper ,then transfer the drawing on to the panel .
If the drawing is made directly on the panel ,use a hair spray to fix it.
So exciting to see how you are going to paint it :)

04-24-2013, 07:06 PM
Thanks:) Ive seen a lot of your work and love it so your advice is very helpful!
When you say the colors will mud. Are you talking about the pencil mixing in with the paint?
I just added 2 layers of clear matte acrylic gel so my drawing wont wash away from the imprimatura. Going to slightly sand once dry.
Hair spray over the drawing will make it so the drawing doesnt wash away and mix with my paints?
I know a lot of people do the drawing in pencil then ink over it but I like to do just the drawing and have a few reasons for that.

ianos dan
04-25-2013, 02:50 AM
Yes evan3585!it's about pencil mixing with pigments ,but if you have fixed the drawing ,the problem is solved ;).
I use sometimes hair spray ,and it really works to fix the drawing ,specially when you are making a detailed one ,gives you some satisfaction ,that you are not wash all your work.
You're right ,all of us needs to do a detailed drawing ,it helps you ,and prepares you for the painting.
It's good to make preparatory drawings ,because if you trace it ,you can work side by side ,keeping your drawing like a piece of art ,unlike a drawing that it will be lost underneath the painting.
It's just a matter of taste ,l'm sure that in any case ,the learning process is all that matters !
Good luck and please post photos with your W.I.P !Are you gonna use an yellow ocher imprimatura ,like Leonardo ?

04-25-2013, 04:36 AM
hi i am not sure what advice i could to this but it is beatiful you are very talented to work on these paintings well done look forward to seeing it when it is finished xx

04-25-2013, 11:34 AM
That is great advice thanks.
One of my biggest problems is not having the materials. I would try the trace method but dont have large enough paper or tracing paper.
Ive done the imprimatura with yellow ocher, some flake white and burnt umber. Mainly burnt umber though. Did a very thin wash with mineral spirits and applied with large brush. Then I used a rag(cut up old t-shirt) and rubbed it in and smoothed it out.
The under layer is next and going to be fun. Not sure if I will do or should do a 2nd under layer.

ianos dan
04-25-2013, 11:49 AM
It's the method of Leonardo you are trying to emulate? lf you do, l've posted on my Mona Lisa copy ,an underpainting ,done by Leonardo,it's e head of a girl.
It seems that he made one or more umber layers,before proceeding to color.l think he even used black for deep shadows ,in his underpaintings.

04-25-2013, 02:33 PM
Im not trying to emulate exactly his methods or style. I think it would be impossible for me to emulate that but I do want to see what I can learn from some of his methods and try my best. Ill probably do one underlayer then decide after if Ill need another one. Im really curious on the dead layer and color layers. Im thinking of doing a grisaille(dead layer) with the skin being greenish grey tones.
Ive seen your Mona Lisa copy and its perfect.
One big question Ive been wondering is should I use any white in the under layers? Any painting so far that Ive done I have never used white in the under layers but have seen people that have. Here is a example of one of my under layers.

I have the imprimatura done. I couldnt sand down the clear acrylic too much. its more of a rubber plastic so is more difficult. Might not use that stuff again. The problem with that is some of the raised areas from doing that are now darker from the wash. I dont think it will effect it too much though. At least the face looks great and its just the imprimatura so Ill be good.


04-25-2013, 03:41 PM
Hi Evan
I had a go at this but have been busy so i haven't been able to do any more on it , good luck with it it is a beautiful painting .

There is a video on the net called Andre Fisch copie la belle ferronniere google it it might help it did for me especialy around the eyes .

Hiker .

ianos dan
04-26-2013, 04:16 AM
evan3585: from what l've learned from Leonardo is that he didn't use dead layer!
That's very important.He made the shadows with some kind of black and burt umber and than he made (l think) the local colors ,little bit lighter ,so the glazes could be darker.
Please take a look at his painting ,and see that ,for example, Mona Lisa or Ginevra Benci ,has very transparent colors ,and if you look closer ,at some high-res image,you'll see that you can't find a "dead layer".
The blueish hue of the semitones or other areas ,are in fact a glaze or semi scumble ,not a dead layer underpainting.
When l'm making a copy of a master l try to find some details of his working methods.it can make your work easier :)
The truth is that no one knows exactly if the underpainting was made in oils. Could be guache or some water based paint.
l've seen a lot of artists making copies directly with the local colors ,and the result was astonishing ,the only difference was that ,to a closer look, the transitions where not so perfect like the originals ,also the softening of contours ,and many aspects ,that a trained eye could see .
l'm waiting for the umber layer :)Good job with Bane !:clap:

ianos dan
04-26-2013, 04:25 AM
Hiker,very nice video ,l'm watching know ,will be back soon with impressions :) Thanks for sharing !

ianos dan
04-26-2013, 05:02 AM
A little advice !PLEASE don't copy the skin tones of the painting !the yellow is because of the varnish which covers the real painting
The colors of La belle ferronniere were pinkish ,not that yellow.
l made the same mistake when l painted the copy after Messina .when l've copied Mona Lisa l decided to paint a real skin color .
Hiker ,the painting it's good ,but this guy made the same mistake ,he made her skin yellow ...:)

ianos dan
04-26-2013, 05:05 AM
Here's a painting made by Leonardo that is preserved much better ,you can see that pale pinkish hue ,that was at high fashion in those days.
Keep this in mind or as reference when you are going to paint skin tones .:angel:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Apr-2013/1165823-Ginevra_de_Benci_A_da_Vinci.jpg:wave:

04-27-2013, 02:25 PM
Sorry been gone with no internet the past few days.
Thanks for the advice! Ill have to remember that about the skin. I was wondering about the dead layer and dont think Ill do that now. You have convinced me to not do that:)
Didnt he do the skin a greenish color though? I thought that is what Ive heard.
im going to start the first underlayer today or tomorrow. Im going to use mineral spirits and maybe a little liquin. I will be using liquin with this painting. For drying time reasons. Far from how Da Vinci would have used lol but its what Ive got. Ive never mixed OMS with liquin though. Not sure if that is a good idea or not.

Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 01:32 PM
I my opinion Leonardo Da Vinci was using dead layer in his paintings. If you take a look at his unfinished "Adoration of the Magi", you will find different stages of painting like: drawing, imprimatura, umber( or similar ) underlayer, dead layer.
The famouse " La Scapigliata" by Leonardo Da Vinci shows very clearly the use of Imprimatura and Priambura : the layer of lead white which gives face it luminosity.


Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 01:45 PM
If I remember right last year was discovered a copy of "Mona Lisa" executed by one of Leonardo Da Vinci pupils. The copy in a very good condition and it has the original colors. So now we can see "Mona Lisa" in its true light. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Apr-2013/189689-Da_Vinvi_Monalisacopy.jpg

Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 02:02 PM
In your first post you said that you have applied gesso in about 15 coats ? I wonder : will it crack some day ? I also do prepare by myself my wood panels with a home made traditional gesso , but I apply it only in 5 - 6 -7 coats and sanding it with fine sandpaper.

Another thought: why you want to step away from the original technique used by Leonardo Da Vinci ? If you intend to do a copy, it is logical if you will use the technique of the master you copying ? I am quiet sure you'll learn a lot from it !
Some years ago I did a copy of Caravaggio's "Sleeping cupid" and I was following his technique. It was a great expirience and a real university !

Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 02:24 PM
It is not too late to say that I think the forehead is too narrow and the area from the outer sides of the eyes is more wider. The hair is not so close to the outer corner of the left eye.

I think you have to check the proportion of the face: it seems to me it is unproportional, especially the area between upper lip and eyes.

When I planning a new painting , I always do a full size drawing: it's much more easier to correct mistakes on paper then on canvas or wood.

With great interest looking forward to see a progress of this work !

ianos dan
04-28-2013, 03:31 PM
Hello Evan ! l'm not saying that you should do this or that technique ,but is what l read about his technique ,l will scan a page from "treatise on painting" of Leonardo da vinci ,a book l had in my studio.It's the paragraph about painting.Unfortunately the book is in romanian ,so you will have to use Google translate ,and if you don't understand something ,a will help you .
Now ,about the dead layer: a small tip ; if the dead layer was made by Leonardo ,that greyish hue would be present in is painting ,because his layers where very very thin,and even if the varnish is yellow,some hint of this underpainting will be present .instead ,all his paintings have that warm hue.l saw some x rays on internet of some of his painting ,and let me say something:the dead layer ,if it would have been present ,that procedure should brought to light some evidence about that. plus ,the dead layer preparation has some thickness. think about that . all that x rays revealed was a thin preparation in underpainting ,almost like a ghost .
His use of dead layer ,in my opinion is pure speculation .

ianos dan
04-28-2013, 03:50 PM
Nathalie Chavieve! don't want to make a polemic about this subject ! the first image is a sketch of Leonardo ,and it's made ,for what l know in guache as a medium.(probably a sketch for Leda and the swan ). Umber layer is present there ,that lights are made with lead white probably, common in that days ,but is not a Verdaccio layer ,is not the the "dead layer" that whe know .
the next image is a virtual restoration of his Mona Lisa ,not a copy by one of his pupils,is the real painting scanned tho a huge resolution and then ,a virtual image was made using some samples of pigment from paintings already restored,because ,some year ago ,it was the beginning of o project of restoration of Mona lisa.
Only "dead layer" Leonardo made ,was that preparation of the flesh tones ,that in underpainting where made lighter ,because lots of glazing followed.
Even Raphael ,who learned a lot from Leonardo and Michelangelo ,never used a dead layer.at least it's my opinion ,if we want the truth ,we will have to ask a restorer :).Sorry for my boldness ,but it's an opinion based on books and recipes l've learned .You can use any method you want ,the result is what matters :)

ianos dan
04-28-2013, 04:08 PM
The copy of "Mona lisa" that younger one ,is ,in my opinion ,at least from 17th century .The colors are made thicker ,the face is much younger ,probably idealized by an unknown author .
Yes ,it has that columns ,that were present in the original ,but it's not Leonardo ,and it's school.
Again ,my opinion guys :)
Another tip about the underpainting of Leonardo; if you look closer to Adoration of Magi ,that is unfinished ,you don't see even one centimeter square of dead layer ,not even the highlights . It's only some protoxide red and black ,over an imprimatura that looks like a pale ocher.
The dead layer was developed in Netherlands at the beginning of 15 the century ,mainly because they need to represent the complexion of the human skin ,and was not present in all the painting ,only in the areas of flesh .They began to paint first the landscape ,clothes ,and then ,faces and hands.
The green Veradaccio layer was ,in Italy, a grey green color that was applied all over the figure ,flat.then followed the flesh colors in lights ,slowly decrease the thickness towards the halftone ,to obtain a optical effect of that blue- green under the skin and where the bones where present.
The Verdaccio layer was borrowed from the early icon painting techniques (byzantine or not ) ,like Duccio and many others .

ianos dan
04-28-2013, 04:15 PM
if you make an underpainting like Leonardo ,and than you make the highlights with some white over ,you'll see that it already looks "cold".the pure use of white in highlights ,slowly decreasing it's thickness in halftones ,it will look "dead" for a flesh tone .
Just make a small experiment and you'll see the result .:)

ianos dan
04-28-2013, 06:02 PM
:clear:Here's the chapter about painting,in "Treatise on painting" by Leonardo da Vinci ,and it's all the information he ever wrote .
Please use Google translate for this ,and if you have questions ,l will try to help you .http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Apr-2013/1165823-tip.jpg:clap:

Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 06:04 PM
Dear ianos dan ! I am not trying to make a polemic . This thread not reserved only for you and I think I may say my opinion here too. Please, be calm and tolerant to others and remember that not only you who is passionate by the techniques of the Old masters.

I shall disagree with you about "La Scapigliata" : it is oil on wood and not a gouache . I did not even say a thing about Verdaccio in my post . What I said it has Imprimatura and Priambura layers ( if you know what is it ) which was usualy followed by a Verdaccio layer. In your post about Verdaccio technique you explaning a tipical technique of egg tempera paintings used by Italian painters. In oil painting technique the Verdaccio layer made in the same manner as a dead layer in Dutch paintings and has the same purpose. It can be made from some greens, or mixture of black, white, green or yellow.

I am not sure that images in Internet, even they are finest quality, can provide you a proper subject for investigation of art work and it's technique.

About the second image : it was allover in the news that such painting was discovered not so long time ago and that the image was in Internet, so I am not a responsble of that.

Nathalie Chavieve
04-28-2013, 06:09 PM
Probably ianos dan will satisfied more with this image of Mona lisa and its copy.


04-28-2013, 09:27 PM
All info is great. Thanks for what you have all said so far. Unless we have a time machine I dont think we will ever truly know it all.
I do want to say for this painting that Im working on its going to be a one step at a time process. I havnt decided on what to try next till the layer is done. Im going to do a under layer then possibly a second.
My first attempt at doing something like this so taking is slow.
About having so many gesso layers. I was wondering the same thing and hope it doesnt crack. Ive never gesso anything before and was having problems but once I watered it down it turned out better. Flattened out without brush marks.

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 03:57 AM
One more important thing I have to say about Dead layer . I was going through many threads in Oil paintings and I found that artists usually work with Dead layer excecuted in bluish-grey tones in order to create "moon light" effect. But in the matter of fact Dead layer does not have to be made only in bluish-grey tones, it can be made in differen color range depending on the artist final aim. For instance, Dead layer ( or whatever you call it ) can be made from White, Burnt Umber ( or similar ) and Black ( or not ) . In this case it will not appear as a "usual" bluish-grey dead layer but will still carry the same purpose . That's why you can't see any of the Dead layer in Leonardo Da Vinci "Adoration of the Magi".

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 06:05 AM
Nathalie Chavieve ,my apologies for boldness again :) ,don't want to be so harsh on this!this copy could be of one of his students ,could be Boltraffio ,could be Francesco Melzi or Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno (Salai).Same copies where made after Leda and the Swan ,Last supper( oil version ),Mona nude,Madonna with child and so on. I was speaking bout the new discovered Mona lisa ,that looks from 17 th century http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2013/1165823-mona-swiss-vincis-lisa.si.jpg:wave:The dead layer ,in fact ,was not even mentioned in the 15th century panting ,never heard about it ,Verdaccio ,that greenish layer was used as a base for flesh colors and skin tones ,in icon painting ,from there was borrowed in oil painting.
From what l've learned about Rennaisance painting (early Rennaisance) ,they never used dead layer,at least the Italian Renaissance.the methods of painting where slightly different from one school to other (Bologna ,Sienna, Peruggia),from the imprimatura ,to flesh color ,to ways of painting,layers of color ,vellatura...so on.
As a suggestion,if you ever have the opportunity to speak with a living master as Koo Schadler ,who is a master in painting techniques form Renaissance ,mostly egg tempera ,will tell you a lot about the Verdaccio layer. l think Verdaccio and dead layer are two different terms and techniques.First one ,as l said ,ls a italian word ,and has slightly different purpose,the other one ,is ,or was developed in Netherlands ,flemish school ,has a tonal quality ,was at high fashion in 17th ,18th century .
l saw lots of painters who make all their paintings or copies with Dead layer.l'm not saying that is a bad thing ,(even l am making dead layer sometimes),l'm just trying to say that whe are speaking about different techniques ,different schools.
Yes ,if you are using mixtures of white over a an underpainting like Leonardo's the color will look blueish ,greenish,pale ,but it doesn't mean it's "that Dead Layer" ,that Mr. Alexei Antonov has developed as a method of old masters ,to paint .But even Alexei Antonov ,who studied lots of books and methods, said that the dead layer was developed in Baroque era ,not Renaissance,and we are speaking about Flemish school.
So ,Verdaccio ,in my oppinion is not Dead layer.:angel:

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 06:24 AM
yes Nathalie Chavieve ,l know what Imprimatura and Priambura layers means ,first because l am a latin ,second because l made it in some of my paintings:).
Here's a Raphael ,unfinished painting;
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2013/1165823-budapest_58615b.jpg:)don't see "dead layer" or Verdaccio underneath .
Here's Grisaille or Dead layer on a 17th century painting;http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2013/1165823-39191365.jpg

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 06:34 AM
the difference between Leonardo and Raphael was that the first one made darker underpaintings ,and the glazes where used to a higher extent in order to achieve that smooth gradation between areas of light an shadow.

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 07:26 AM
Ok Evan !
Here's an approximate translation of the paragraph about painting ,by Leonardo Da vinci :
502. Way of painting on a canvas .
" Stretch your canvas on a frame (stretcher),apply a thin gesso and let it dry..
Draw then and paint the flesh with brushes ,and then ,on the fresh painted canvas ,you can make the shadows in sfumato ,how much you want.
The flesh tones you will paint them with white,(i don't know what's the meaning of "lac" (could be some color),and yellow (probably yellow ocher).
The shadows you will make them with black and protoxide red (coul be red ocher),and again that "lac".
When you obtain "descending" shadows ,let the painting dry.Then retouch (make corrections) white that "lac" ,melted in arabic gum ;it's good because it dries mat.
If you want to make the shadows darker ,use arabic gum with some ink (it's probably a blueish color ),that way you can can "overshadow" many colors ,the "lac" being translucent.With this you can shade the darkest parts.
In the areas with light you can shade only with arabic gum ,or "lac" and arabic gum over it ,without any medium between ,because you can cover the Cinnabar ,that has resin in it ,and it's dried."
That's all what Leonardo said about his technique.
When l made my copy ,l used some of his advices ,just to have a "hint" ,an idea of how he painted :)

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 07:58 AM
Don't know if it's true ,but many studies of heads an drapery where made by Leonardo da Vinci in gouache ,because he used a lot arabic gum ,bot here's what l found about that head study.
Here's the link ,and a small descrition;http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/leonardo-da-vinci/head-of-a-young-woman-with-tousled-hair-leda
Again ,not sure ,but l think he used gouache on this study.

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 09:33 AM
ianos dan : unfortunately I haven't the opportunity to speak with Koo Schadler in person but I know about her techniques and methods, but I had an opportunity to study the book by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini "The craftsman's handbook" in which he is perfectly explaining the egg tempera and oil painting techniques used by painters of this time. . The egg tempera technique of Koo Schadler basicly based on this book.

Please, read this :

Verdaccio is an Italian name for the mixture of black, white, and yellow pigments resulting in a grayish or yellowish (depending on the proportion) soft greenish brown.

Verdaccio became an integral part of fresco painting, in which this color is used for defining tonal values, forming a complete monochromatic underpainting. Often architectural details in frescoes are left in verdaccio without any additional color layers; a notable example is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, where verdaccio underpainting can be clearly seen, left as is on all architectural details of the composition.

In oil painting, a similar technique is used by Flemish painters, referred to as the "dead layer," is applied over the traditional bone colour priming to refine the values and remove the warm tone of the primer. The resulting "white to olive green to black" underpainting is "like being illuminated by moonlight."

So, what ever you call it : dead layer, verdaccio, grisaille or anything else it is an underpainting and it can be executed by different artists in different ways .

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 10:05 AM
Very constructive this topic :). Yes ,Wikipedia has that explanation ,for me is not the same thing:)
Verdaccio is not a part of fresco (fresco -fresh,secco -dried) .(again ,is my opinion )
The work in fresco is a race against clock ,you don't have time to make underpaitings,the color is applied fast ,the local color is made separate on containers ( lights,local color,semitones,shadows,reflexes) .
What seems to be monochromatic underpainting,is in fact the real painting ,all that architectural details ,columns,those putti ,intended to look like sculptures ,are left in that state because is looks like carved stone ,not flesh.
If you are making a Verdaccio underpainting in a day,it will stay like this ,tomorrow the plaster is dried ,you cannot pain over ,so yeah ,the fresco is not oil :)

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 10:09 AM
If we are talking about the ceiling:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2013/1165823-1044;1072;1085;1080;1080;1083;.jpg:clear: one of the prophets :http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2013/1165823-ll.jpg Flesh versus stone pillars (carved putti)

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 11:44 AM
ianos dan : If you doubt the Cennino d'Andrea Cennini ( 15 th century painter and craftsman) and by that means also Koo Schadler techniques and methods of egg tempera for fresco and also oil painting , I have absolutely nothing to say anymore here, as I start to think that your knowledge of painting techniques and methods based on spontanous and desultory studies of many Renaissance, Baroque, contemporary ant ect. painters .

Extract from Cennino d'Andrea Cennini book "The craftsman's handbook":

"And if you are in place where many good masters have been, so much the better for you. But I give you this advice: take care to select the best one every time, and the one who has greatest reputation. And, as you go on from day to day, it will be against nature if you do not get some grasp of his style and his spirit. For if you undertake to copy after one master today and after another tomorrow, you will not acquire the style of either one or the other, and you will inevitably , through enthusiasm, become capricious , because each style will be distracting your mind. You will try to work in this man's way today, and in the other's tomorrow, and so you will not get either of them right. If you follow the course of one man through constant practice, your intelligence would have to be crude indeed for you not to get some nourishment from it. Then you will find, if nature has granted you any imagination at all, that you will eventually acquire a style individual to yourself, and it cannot help being good, because your hand and your mind, begin always accustomed to gather flowers, would ill know how to pluck thorns."

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 11:54 AM
ianos dan : And as I understand, you want to be right in any way , relying on providing more and more pictures. In this case there no room for constructive discussion any more.

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 12:10 PM
Agree with Cennini's book !
Again ,don't know where is the Verdaccio layer in the ceilling ,plus ,l don't know when you came to this conclusion ;" I have absolutely nothing to say anymore here, as I think that your knowledge of painting techniques and methods based on spontanous and desultory studies of many Renaissance, Baroque, contemporary ant ect. painters ."
l've just translated a paragraph of Leonardo's Treatise on painting to help Evan on his way in copying a Leonardo.
l.ve never questioned your knowledge ,as you did,about painting techniques.
l just disagree with some of your opinions,that's all ,if you think l'm doing this deliberate ,let's "make piece" and forget the verdaccio or dead layer.:))
In conclusion,let's help our friend here and give him some practical advices ok?
This is his thread ,let's not transform it in to an Art history class :))).
Cheers and take only the good aspect of this discussion.
at the end of this discussion ,a conclusion:
a perfectly approved recipe of painting ,used by Leonardo ,could only be presented by a restorer (if it is well-intentioned).

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 12:14 PM
Nathalie Chavieve! l am a men ,l apologize ;) A girl , lady ,a woman shoud never be offended :)

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 02:59 PM
ianos dan : You'll find the Verdaccio layer in this picture in the figures of Putti and in the architectural details of this painting.

I have nothing to say about your translation of Leonardo Da Vinci text, it is not about it at all. My point was that you were trying very hard to prove the opposite of my opinion without getting even understand and analyse it. If you do not like or do not accept a Verdaccio, dead layer, grisaille technique it does not mean it is not present in the paintings of Renaissance.
Anyway ; I also think it is wise not to continue our discussion in this manner, as in the end we are going to fight. Each of us has an expirience and knowledge based on different sources and techniques, and I hope this discussion will be a help to others to find their own way and approach to oil painting.

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 03:42 PM
Nathalie ,let's forget the past .You're right ,we learned from different sources ,we have different concepts about some techniques of painting,it doesn't matter. l don't want to prove anything,l'm am not so "full of myself".
l am not a violent person (not even with words),so if will be some discussions about techniques or drawing,l will be more flexible in sharing opinions.

Nathalie Chavieve
04-29-2013, 05:11 PM
If we'll forget the past we will have nothing to discuss about....:angel: ( just joking)

The Truth Is Born In Dispute.

04-29-2013, 10:19 PM
Thanks so much for translating that ianos dan.

Ive done very little work on the first(possibly only) under layer and my problem that Ive been noticing is that a lot of pencil is showing through. I am thinking that is expected and once I get the color layers down they wont show. What worries me is that I want to try go as thin as possible. Maybe a second under layer would fix that but Im afraid Ill go too dark. Im thinking I might have done too much detail on the drawing.
Speaking of doing very thing layers. That does make me not want to do a dead layer, Verdaccio or whatever I would end up choosing because those layers I tend to do more thicker. Then again I dont want the pencil drawing to show through either so havnt made up my mind.
Too early to say for sure though what Ill do but any suggestions are always welcomed.
ill upload image when I get this under layer done.

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 11:43 PM
Hi Evan! you could "hide" the drawing by making a semi scumble (semi opaque layer) .go all over the painting with a color (like imprimatura ,ocher,or whatever ),like a fog. let it dry ,and if the drawing is still strong ,repeat the process.:) .
After this semi scumble ,you could work on the umber layer or what you've planned to do next .

ianos dan
04-29-2013, 11:47 PM
Yes Nathalie Chavieve,we will became art critics ,we will write books on this theme,probably a documentary about Leonardo's techniques of painting :)))))).

ianos dan
04-30-2013, 12:13 AM
"Ive seen your Mona Lisa copy and its perfect.
One big question Ive been wondering is should I use any white in the under layers? Any painting so far that Ive done I have never used white in the under layers but have seen people that have. Here is a example of one of my under layers."
When l made the copy ,l used white for the highlights ,when it was still an underpainting,so yeah ,you could use white,why not.you will have a more complete map for the flesh tones ,if it's to bright ,you could calm down those highlights with later glazes and scumbles:)

ianos dan
04-30-2013, 12:39 AM
Here's a copy of La belle ferronniere,made probably after the original, please take a look at the flesh color again,and keep this in mind when you paint.
these is probably the best copy l've ever seen :).http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Apr-2013/1165823-la_belle.jpg:thumbsup:

Nathalie Chavieve
04-30-2013, 10:21 AM
I agree with ianos dan on his proposition to do a semi-opaque layer. I do transfer my full size drawing to the canvas or panel with brown ink ( sometimes deluted with water ) that the washes of color and medium will not dissolve it later , and when I prepare Imprimatura I always add a Flake white into it : it covers an ink drawing ( not completely) and make the Imprimatura layer lay more even over the canvas (panel).

I think also that if you intend to apply many layers of color over your drawing (even thin layers), the drawing will became mostly unvisible. In my paintings in which I have used previously discussed Dutch technique of dead layer and which includes only 7 layers of color ( mostly those colors are transparent, semi-transparent , semi-opaque) in the finished painting you can not see the ink drawing almost at all.

Dead layer, verdaccio or any other underpainting layer should be never made with opaque colors like Titanium white.
After all, you don't have to apply it in very thick layers, you just have to follow your needs and a final result you want to achieve.

04-30-2013, 01:53 PM
That copy of La belle ferronniere looks great!
I should have used that before starting. The original is very dark and my printer always prints dark even when I change the settings. I didnt want to mess with it too much in photoshop to lose color. I tried using my android tablet and was slightly brighter. There details in that copy you posted that Ive completely missed. Mainly around the figure where the dark background meets.
Im not going to stress myself out too much on this one. Im not going for perfection. If I did I would probably go insane lol.
I kinda like the more dirty look of the original. Ill see where this all takes me in the next few weeks:)

ianos dan
05-01-2013, 08:53 AM
No Evan ,you're not going insane if you are forcing yourself to make those details ,that were in Leonardo's painting,you will feel improvement in your artwork.
Probably in Leonardo's painting ,the transitions were much subtle and softer ,but in this version you can see that is some space behind the figure ,that little area behind the had.
What l think in this version the artist forgot to paint ,is the reflection of the that beautiful red from shirt ,or whatever is that,on the chin ,that in Leonardo's painting is very obvious (just take a look).
Also ,the face in this version is a little bit more rounded,look at the left part of the cheekbone ,compared with the original painting.
Another important detail ,that is the mark of Leonardo(in my opinion ), is that he loved to paint transparent scarves and veils. take a look a the right shoulder ,that has that white braiding (don't know the term );l think Leonardo made it more transparent ,not so opaque.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-01-2013, 09:46 AM
Sometimes it is can very be boring to paint very small and even tiny details, but you have to think about the final result. Such exercise will teach you to be patient which is very important thing in oil painting process.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-01-2013, 09:58 AM
Some time ago I bought from Amazon.co.uk a book by Frank Zöllner ( publisher : Taschen ) " Leonardo da Vinci. The complete paintings and drawings ". It is very big format book ( and very heavy too ). It has most of the Leonardo da Vinci art works with descriptions , reproductions and a large details of some of his works like : "Madonna of the rocks", "Portrait of Ginevra de Benci" and ect. which allows you to have a very close look at his techniques and brush stroke work. Good photos too. I found this book very helpful and very informative for me, so I thought it may be interesting for you, guys, too.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-01-2013, 10:00 AM
It is very nice copy indeed.

I found her skin tone a little bit too pale . Don't you think so ?

ianos dan
05-01-2013, 06:08 PM
l think in those days ,the pale skin was at high fashion ,but probably is to "dead". Anyway ,the form is there ,the fine blending is there ,small deviations in drawing ,but it's a human hand ,not a printing machine.
lf l have to make this ,l will definitely look at these painting ,and Leonardo's of course,because this one has still the clarity of details ,that the original one had lost ,probably because of the very very thin layers of paint,and indeed varnish .
Maybe this copy has thicker paint layers ?
what do you think guys ?

Nathalie Chavieve
05-02-2013, 11:58 AM
It would be nice to know who did this copy ? Any idea ? By knowing who is the author will be more easy to say about technique. If the artist was following Leonardo Da Vinci technique, that it is logical that he would apply many glazes of color.
When many layers of color are applyed, the final result can look like an opaque, heavy color .

I have here a picture of the painting of one Leonardo da Vinci pupils Andrea Solario "Salome with a head of St. Jhon the Baptist". The girl has the same pale skin, but with more blush on the cheeks and more colorful lips.


ianos dan
05-02-2013, 02:12 PM
Don't know sure ,but Boltraffio has a technique closer to Leonardo than other painters ,(pupils).His paintings have higher quality than this one you have posted here.this one has that same style like Marco d'Oggion's.
If it was someone from his pupils ,l think the copy was made by one of his best pupils.

05-03-2013, 08:57 PM
So this is what Ive done so far. It needs a lot of work yet. The shape between the eyes dont look right for one thing. Decided to paint hair, eye, background with burnt umber mainly and some yellow ochre. background I wasnt too worried about sense its pretty much black anyways even though on the final I dont want a pure black. Skin I decided to try something new and did same mixture as underlayer but used some viridian mixed in. I think I added a little black as well.
A lot of the pencil still shows through and I regret making it so detailed. At least for the shadowing. Felt like I need to follow where the pencil marks were. Another thing I regret was doing the acrylic clear over the drawing. I was able to sand it all the brush marks from laying that on are there. Very disappointing but that is the whole of this. To learn and expect mistakes.
Would have finished the whole under layer but summer is finally here and was very hot so had to stop for the day.
Will probably do another under layer and fix any areas that need reshaped.


ianos dan
05-04-2013, 03:16 AM
l like the colors of the underpainting,specially the hair ,looks nice;).

Evan ,l know you have made a grid ,but l am sure that the nose is a little to "carved" ,compared with the original .the original has more straight nose .also you have carved under the chin ,the original is more rounded there.
you made the forehead to narrow ,because of the line of the hair.

Nice underpainting ,with that small amount of green for the face ,:).

Here's a side by side image ,just to help you in your goal.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-May-2013/1165823-comp.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-May-2013/1165823-comp2.jpg


ianos dan
05-04-2013, 03:19 AM
l forgot to say ;be careful with the back of the head ,she has more volume there ..
Keep going :) God job for the underpainting:)

05-04-2013, 10:54 AM
Thanks so much for pointing that stuff out. I knew I had issues with the nose and chin but didnt know exactly how to fix that and the shape of the head does need to be adjusted. A lot of that shape of the nose is pencil marks still. Hard to tell from image though.
How am I going to fix some of these spots now though? I would have to use white. on the under layer I didnt use any white. Only time I use white is on dead layer and under layer. I am really starting to think I should do a dead layer. A thin dead layer. It will cover most my pencil marks for one thing and can adjust those spots I need to fix.
I did use grid method but I was using very dark print outs so it was dark for me to see everything with the very dark background, hair, ect. Even on glossy photo paper it didnt turn out good and adjusted the brightness all the ways up. Think my printer has problems.
Later on I ended up using a 10 inch Android and was a little better but not much.

05-04-2013, 11:58 AM
I have one question. I'm still developing my art talents. If you were to draw with a grid pattern like on the Bane picture, how would you hide the grid lines without ruining your picture?

05-04-2013, 12:37 PM
Dont use pen first of all. That is the mistake I made on the Bane painting I did. I ended up doing 2 dead layers to cover the grid and still showed through but was lucky enough that after some color layers it was fine. I would use pencil and lightly add the grid. On this painting what I did was lightly erase the grid so that is was there enough to see but not from a distance.
A lot of people will do the grid and drawing in pencil then do the drawing over in pen(Indian ink). Then they then tone(imprimatura) and that will wash a way any pencil while leaving the ink.
I created a post about the grid problem with Bane a while back. Check out what others have said if u want. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1184612

Nathalie Chavieve
05-05-2013, 09:35 AM
I have suggested already once, that if you are not sure in your drawing skills , it is much better to do a full size drawing on paper and fix any problem with design on paper, before you can transfer it to the canvas or panel. Of course, it is much more work to do, but then you'll not make a mess on the wood panel, and the only thing you'll need to do is to transfer the ready drawing to the support you use and start to work in oils without having headache how to remove or cover grid or messy drawing.

In multilayering technique in oils you have to plan in advance if not everything but a lot. When you do so, you process of painting will be much more easier , as you'll know already what you are going to do next.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-05-2013, 09:55 AM
I have posted previously my opinion about of covering a drawing :

"I think also that if you intend to apply many layers of color over your drawing (even thin layers), the drawing will became mostly unvisible. In my paintings in which I have used previously discussed Dutch technique of dead layer and which includes only 7 layers of color ( mostly those colors are transparent, semi-transparent , semi-opaque) in the finished painting you can not see the ink drawing almost at all."

So I think you shouldn't worry SOOO much about it. After all, it is you first attempt to copy a master. It is a learning process and you will figure out , what works and what dosen't.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-05-2013, 10:02 AM
I also like how you did the hair. Very nice. I think you should take it easy on it now and not over work it ( the hair I mean ).

Nathalie Chavieve
05-05-2013, 02:52 PM
One more comment. Because you have made the chin so triangular and defined too much with the shadows under the chin it make whole face look odd. I think that you must rework the chin and the shadow under the lower lip to make it narrower and softer.

ianos dan
05-07-2013, 12:56 PM
Hi Evan ! don't worry about the dead layer or the name of the technique that was used in this or that century .it 's your copy ,and you need to do whatever it takes to make it look better.
in general to correct small mistakes in oils,you can do scumbles,just go over with some color that is the same ,or approximately the same color ,not so thin ,semi opaque will be better. Like l said in another thread (l think) ,the scumble will look like a fog . let it dry ,and give it another try .:) .
Besides that ,Leonardo probably used more than "one" method or technique of painting<he always was experimenting.(underpaintings, layers ,drying time ,etc),so it's up to you how you will make this painting look like Leonardo's :).

ianos dan
05-07-2013, 01:17 PM
This days l was thinking about the grid method and it's advantages or disadvantages.
First of all ,l think this method was developed to scale drawings ,designs made by artist.(his own designs).(for example the drawings that were used for the sixtine chapel).
the grid method helps you a lot ,when you need to enlarge a drawing or sketch (had ,hands,drapes ,nudes),gives you some insurance of the placement of the features ,or the object in the space,on the canvas .
l saw lots of guys that are using grid method ,they make the eye in the same place,it's there ,it has the same proportions ,but it's not that type of eye ,it not that face he or she is copying.
So ,in my opinion,the grid method helps you a lot ,but, in order to do a good drawing ,you need to study it's construction and how the form it's made.
Sorry ,that was not the subject ,it was another thread, that was closed ,but it's a constructive idea.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-07-2013, 02:49 PM
I have never used ( never actually even tried ) a grid method in my drawings. Well, at the moment I did only one copy of Caravaggio "Sleeping Cupid" in which I used full size drawing, but it was done without grid method. I also think that is better to draw without grid : you'll train your hand , head and the way of your thinking and understanding the drawing. Grid method looks more like mechanical to me: just copying the lines without understanding the placement of those lines, shapes and relations between .

05-07-2013, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. This chin does need reworked. There would be a lot of adjusting. I am thinking of doing the dead layer now. It will help me correct problems I have from the drawing I feel. Thinking of doing a thin dead layer and if its needed a second layer.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-08-2013, 04:28 PM
Evan and ianos dan : Since I participate in this very interesting discussion, I have get inspired and I was thinking that I should also try to do a copy of this marvelous painting. I have never attempt to make a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci paintings ( accept three or four drawings ), so may be now it is a time for me to give it a first try. But I was thinking, it would be interesting that each of us ( since only we are participating in this thread mostly ) could do the copy and share here ( or in another thread, it is up to Evan ) our expirience, working process and etc..... Evan has already started his copy , I am intend to do so. What do you think about this idea Evan and Ianos dan ?

ianos dan
05-09-2013, 05:17 AM
great Idea Nathalie Chavieve! we will have to make another thread ,to give it a name like "Challenge ,La belle Ferronierre " or something like that ,because probably there are many members who could participate .
Great idea,just to have time :))))

Nathalie Chavieve
05-09-2013, 05:31 PM
ianos dan : Very well ! Let me know when you are ready to start .

I know : it is summer time now , but there is no rush.....

ianos dan
05-10-2013, 05:00 AM
Yes Nathalie Chavieve,besides that ,l'm working on a 2 meters canvas ,so l will have to do this copy when i will find some time ,but you and other members can post your W.I.P's >
We will have to ask Evan if he wants to post in other thread ,or if he agrees posting our copies here.
l think it's better to start another thread!
Nathalie ,since you came with this great idea,you can create a new thread ,and start posting:).
So excited !

05-11-2013, 01:33 AM
you drew the eyes very well, and features and head, i think da vinci painted on a very smooth surface and blurred the joining of strokes with his fingers. no lines in nature. da vinci advised that your surface be "as smooth as glass"

05-11-2013, 12:12 PM
Nathalie Chavieve that is a great idea. I would love to see other peoples styles and methods on this painting. We could learn a lot from it. I dont mind if guys post it here or in a new thread. Either way is fine by me.

Thanks derek! That is very good advice for me. No lines in nature is true so I should keep that in mind when working on this.
My next painting Ill make sure its smooth as glass. I did fail on that part for this painting but it was a good lesson. Using clear acrylic was a really bad idea over my drawing. Didnt even think at the time but acrylic turns to rubber pretty much and cant be sanded very well.
Thats what happens when you experimented. Much like Da Vinci did:)

ianos dan
05-12-2013, 07:09 AM
Some new updates for your copy Evan! how is your WIP ?Hope some good things happens there!
If you are going to make another copy after Da Vinci ,you definitely need a wood panel ,for a smooth finish :)In those days ,the wood panel was used more often than canvas :)

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 11:25 AM
Thank you, Evan, for the permission.

I think that I'll start a new thread soon.....
The only problem is that I do work very slow ( in the matter of fact I do like to work slowly, without rush and pressure ) and I am quite sure this copy will take at least 6 or more moths to complete. I started to work already on this copy ( drawing on paper almost complete ) and now I am going to prepare wood for the painting : it will take some time, but I'll record all steps I have done and post it in a new thread.
Any way I want to show you the full size drawing. It is done on a thin paper that I can transfer it to the wood later on.


Awaiting to see the progress of your copy !!!!

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 11:30 AM
I hope that ianos dan can also participate someday ( and of course everyone else who wish to participate ) in this project as it will be very interesting to compare our approaches to this work.

ianos dan
05-12-2013, 11:51 AM
:) Very nice drawing Nathalie Chavieve! very detailed and accurate !So excited to see your painting !
LOL!l have the wood panel ,but the drawing not :)))),hope to have some time to make it ,l don't think l will make the entire painting (probably had and shoulders).:)
Please post some more of your WIP :).
It will be the thread of Da vinci's followers :)))))LOL

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 12:11 PM
Thank you ianos dan.
I always prepare a full size drawing for all of my paintings. Usually I do try to eliminate all mistakes and make necessary corrections on the drawing before I transfering it to the canvas or wood. Very seldom I do any corrections of the design in the process of the painting. So I like to prepare an accurate drawing....
I did this drawing with a free hand without any grid or other copying equipment using for references photos from books and Internet.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 12:16 PM
Yes, I'll post more WIPs, but only when the wood will be ready.........

05-12-2013, 12:36 PM
Wow nice drawing! Great line work.
Sketching for me is more natural but I prob should have did the drawing more in your style. All my pencils marks made things more difficult for me. I should have did the shading like you did instead of using a lot of lines. Really I never shade like that when drawing but I knew Da Vinci did in a lot of line shading in his sketches so went with it.
How do you plan to transfer the drawing? carbon paper? Dont worry on time I work slow also. This will take me months as well.
ianos dan Im using a wood panel. Found it around my house. It was part of some furniture with no holes or anything luckly.

ianos dan
05-12-2013, 01:08 PM
Yeah Evan ,my Mona Lisa was also part of furniture<no problem ,we will end up breaking walls to paint :)))))

ianos dan
05-12-2013, 01:23 PM
I usually make more lines for better understanding the volumes,not always ,but when l make a copy ,and it has to look like the subject ,l need some "anchors",all kinds of straight and curve lines to help me achieve the likeness,but it's just a way of drawing and seeing the form :)
At the end ,the likeness is all that matters,so nothing is wrong in achieving that effect.
anyway ,Leonardo da vinci was a genius ,l will say that all of us will make some small deviations or interpretations of that painting,because it's natural ,it's your personality ,and it's more interesting than a photocopy :).

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 01:32 PM
Thank you, Evan.

I used 6B pencil for this drawing : it can be very easily removed or blended. For my own designs I would do more shading and it would look like an accomplished drawing study of the future painting. For this copy I did shadows only in the face and neck because I am going to use leonardo da Vinci painting as referance.

Yes, I will use carbon paper for transfering ( as I always do ) and then I'll overdraw it with brown ink.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-12-2013, 01:38 PM
Also I am going to do a small head study, probably in chalk or charcoal , later on..

05-12-2013, 04:22 PM
I don't know the original but I think you've done a great job, very inspirational. In fact I like the yellow skin tone, looks like the real thing.I've done a number of copies mostly Vermeer who I greatly admire. I use a grid and charcoal sketch then a watery monocolor to get the composition down.
Once satisfied, I proceed to paint values and colors but I don't try to imitate technique.

ianos dan
05-13-2013, 09:56 AM
Hello everybody !Finally l had some time to make the preparatory drawing for my version of La belle ferronniere.
l made the first drawing ,but it was a miserable drawing ,the axis of the head was not good and :wave:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-May-2013/1165823-belle.jpg l abandoned the first one and l made a second one ,trying to make the features close to the original as possible <the wood panel is not ready for painting ,has some scratches ,not good...

Nathalie Chavieve
05-13-2013, 11:05 AM
ianos dan: I am glad that you find a time to participate in this challenge. Very nice drawing. I found the forehead, the neck and shoulder is too small. The decollete and chest also quite small and unproportional. I have noticed before from your other drawings and paintings that because you use in your drawings quite lot of geometry the faces , figures looks little bit edgy.....

Today from the morning I am preparing wood panels.... It is a lot of work ( I do a few panels in the same time ) . I was cooking the rabbit size glue , applying it into wood panels , letting to dry inbetween layers. Now I will attach a white cotton cloth to the panels with the same glue and will let it dry thoroughly for a couple of days. Then again back to work, but to apply gesso ( which is also a lot of work ! ):rolleyes:

ianos dan
05-13-2013, 11:43 AM
Thank you Nathalie for pointing this mistakes!l really needed a "fresh eye".l will have to make some corrections of the drawing ,not to much ,but it's always good to have some advices here !
Yeah l always make geocentrically shapes ,find it very useful :).

ianos dan
05-14-2013, 12:51 PM
Back with the final drawing.Nathalie gave me some good advices and a found it very useful ,because the first drawing was full of mistakes.
Final one ,before the transfer to the panel ::)http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2013/1165823-0l.jpg

05-14-2013, 04:06 PM

Nathalie Chavieve
05-15-2013, 04:59 AM
Now it looks much better !!!! ( but I still think that the forehead is just a bit small :evil: )

I think it is very important to try to understand who was the person on this painting, what feelings are hiding behind those beautiful eyes ! There is a mistery, and it is a difficult task to bring this to the painting.....

Awaiting for your progress in the painting, guys !!!!

I still didn't finished the wood panels yet .....:crying:

ianos dan
05-15-2013, 06:04 AM
Thank you Nathalie ! You're right ,just a liiiittle bit ,but it's okay ,l'll go with this drawing:).
l think she was a mistress.
Here's what l found about this lady;From Wikipedia;
La belle ferronnière is a name given to a portrait of a woman in the Musée du Louvre, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It is also simply known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The Louvre currently ascribes it to the school of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan.[1] The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.[citation needed]

Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, has also been known by this name. This was once believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani—one of the mistresses of Lodovico 'il Moro' Sforza, Duke of Milan.[2] The narrative and the title were applied to Lady with an Ermine when it was in Princess Czartoryski's collection, and became confused with "La Belle Ferroniere" by the presence in this image also of a jewel worn on a delicate chain across the forehead, called a ferronière.

Although the model of the painting "La Belle Ferroniere" is still shrouded in mystery, the landmark exhibition "Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan" ( National Gallery of Art in London, 9 Nov. 2011- 5 Feb. 2012) listed the portrait as possibly depicting Beatrice d'Este, wife of Ludovico Sforza.[3] This challenges the portrait's earlier attribution to Lucrezia Crivelli, a mistress of Ludovico.[4
My wood panel look's awful ,l bought it from an art supply,but when l came home l found cracks on a big portion.lt was already prepared ,but thanks to their doubtful recipe of preparing the wood ,the panel needs restoration :envy:

ianos dan
05-15-2013, 12:39 PM
This were my drawings ,the last one l choose for the transfer to the panel .just want to share with you guys,probably an advice would be much appreciated .l found incredible hard to copy this great painterhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-May-2013/1165823-compred.jpg

Nathalie Chavieve
05-15-2013, 03:32 PM
For me, surprisingly, was quite easy to draw the face: I finished the face very quickly. It came in right way almost from the first try. I was really surprised, because I was expecting to struggle with it. I had a difficulties with dress and upper body.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-15-2013, 03:38 PM
I like your third drawing most. The lips looks very much different from the original : in your drawing the lips are much more plump. But it's just me : I am a little bit of a perfectionist ........

ianos dan
05-16-2013, 04:46 AM
Thanks Nathalie ,l will try my best to solve this small problem in the final painting (when l will paint it ),for now l'm working on my huge painting.
Please post some of your WIP :).l think l will be the last who will post some photos from the painting :))))LOL.
Evan ,how is your painting? :)

05-16-2013, 07:43 PM
Been gone and without internet for a few day. Ya it sucked lol.
That drawing looks great! I wasnt aware that the strap thing around her forehead affected the hair like that. Not that much anyways. My images I have are so dark and hard to see. Even on my Android tablet and PC. Thinking of buying a good print of this on ebay or somewhere because its frustrating dealing with my printer/photoshop adjustments and I dont want to adjust too much because I will lose what it looks like.
I could rename this title to "Challenge ,La belle Ferronierre" if it will let me. That way all the info for this will be at one spot. Either way if fine by me though.

Update: I cant edit the title. Might be able to get a mod to do it for me though. Let me know what you guys think. Doesnt matter to me:)

Nathalie Chavieve
05-17-2013, 12:31 PM
I don't mind if you, Evan, will change the title, but probably it would be better if we'll start a new thread , as I think in this one we have some unnecessary polemic, and also if some other artist would like to participate it would be easier for them to find themselves there. We can keep post here, on your thread, and there as well.

What do you think , Evan and Ianos dan ?

05-17-2013, 04:18 PM
Sound like a good idea to me.

ianos dan
05-18-2013, 03:53 PM
No problemo ,from my side! Opened to your ideas :)! Feel free :)LOL.

ianos dan
05-21-2013, 01:02 PM
l've transferred the drawing on the panel ;here's the drawing;http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-May-2013/1165823-IMG510.jpg

ianos dan
05-21-2013, 01:04 PM
l made the imprimatura in acrylics ,yellow ocher,black ,white ,and a touch of vermillion.
l gave several coats to make the drawing very subtle.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-May-2013/1165823-00p2.jpg

05-21-2013, 10:23 PM
That looks great so far!
I should get those acrylics for the imprimatura. For a few reasons. Of course the drying time is one. Does acrylic not wash away as much of the transfer? I know with oils and the imprimatura I use a lot of OMS and that stuff would just wash all the pencil away. Unless carbon transfer doesnt wash away that easy. That has been a issue with me.
Ive tattooed for a short time and I know about a stencil or drawing washing away and it isnt fun to deal with lol.

ianos dan
05-22-2013, 04:52 AM
:)).Yes ,this is the main reason for which l chose acrylics.
The drawing was fixed with hair spray ,nothing fancy ,nothing secret :).
In old times ,the drawing was fixed with boiled milk by pulverization .(don't know exactly the period).
Once fixed ,the drawing will stay ,but be careful ,not to brush to much on the surface.The hairspray saves you from making ink drawing ,that is a form of art in itself ,but only if you want to do it :),and of course if you want to use it in the upper layers.The cross hatching was a form of art in flemish painting from 15th century ,they work very careful ,making the ink drawing a part of the painting process and allowing ,in the deep shadows ,to be visible ,in the folds ,or and architectural details (you can see in paintings of Van Eyck ,Hand Memling,Rogier van der Weyden).

Nathalie Chavieve
05-22-2013, 07:19 AM
Hi, everyone ! I was quite busy these last days: did not had time to look up our thread.

Nice work, ianos dan !

I had never used acrylics for imprimatura. I know it is dries very fast and save a lot of time but I go with traditional methods ( since I am not in hurry ) : I do make imprimatura with oils and medium made from Turpantine and Dammar varnish. I also found the ink drawing very useful, as it does not wash away with Imprimatura or medium or color, and stays visible for quite long time and can be followed in the future color layers. It takes time to draw it again over the traces of carbon paper, but it has some advantages.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-22-2013, 07:21 AM
I also took some steps forward with my painting :

I transfered the drawing to the wood panel with carbon paper and draw over it with brown ink, that the drawing will not wash away with imprimatura.


Nathalie Chavieve
05-22-2013, 07:24 AM
I oiled the wood with linseed oil, and apply Imprimatura made from Alizarin crimson, Olive green and little bit Flake white , to make Imprimatura lay even on the wood and to cover little bit an ink drawing. Now it will dry for a one week.


Nathalie Chavieve
05-22-2013, 01:03 PM
I have started today a new thread "La belle ferroniere" WIP / Challenge". Please take a look. And, of course, participate !!!!! Let's see what will happen ......

I will continue to post here too , if you do not mind.....

ianos dan
05-22-2013, 01:07 PM
Very nice drawing Nathalie!be careful with the shape of the had ,specially in the area were is that string or diadem ,if you look closer(don't know the quality of the image ,but it has to be there),that string tightens the hair in that area.
Nice imprimatura ,it will be very interesting to see it's effect on the upper layers ,l'm planning to work thin in shadows areas :).lmprimatura definitely helps in the overall tonality of the painting:)
very beautiful line :)

ianos dan
05-22-2013, 01:13 PM
evan3585;l was thinking about the grid method you are using in your paintings!lt was used to a large scale in Renaissance ,specially Durer used it .
He made a drawing in which you will see exactly how he did it.
So ,again ,nothing it's wrong in drawing accurately,or to find methods to draw better :)
Here's the engraving l was talking abouthttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-May-2013/1165823-durerdevice.gif:thumbsup:

Nathalie Chavieve
05-22-2013, 01:15 PM
The line was there, I just forgot to draw it with ink :angel:

ianos dan
05-22-2013, 01:44 PM
It's a small problem ,l'm sure you can easily fix it in first stage ,:)

05-22-2013, 03:44 PM
Everything is coming along great from what Ive seen so far! Im learning so much.
Ill will prob work on my painting in the next few days. I still have to work on the under layer for the neck down. Im pretty sure Ill be doing a dead layer otherwise my drawings will show through a lot. Even through the colors layers if I didnt do the dead layer(or 2). I think next time I will do things differnt. Not do too many heavy pencil marks and less line work in the shading.
Im going to get some acrylics for my next lmprimatura asap.
Thanks for sharing that engraving. Shows that grid method has been around for a long time, I remember seeing that a while ago somewhere but didnt think much about it and didnt know what it was till now.

05-23-2013, 06:14 AM
Nathalie, can I ask you what kind of ink you use for the drawing? I'm looking for a way to do a drawing on canvas, without the risk of erasing it while painting a first layer.

Oh, and I can't wait to see more of all these paintings. I learned quite a lot during te discussions here, so thanks all for that :)

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 11:33 AM
Eveline : Usually I do use for drawing on canvas or wood brown ink :Umbra / Umber/ Terre d'ombre , by Rohrer & Klingner Leipzig - Co, made in Germany. It is pigmented drawing and calligraphy ink, resistant to erasing and waterproof. Some times I do use black ink with the same qualities, from Spanish manufacture.

Definetly, I will learn a lot from this discussion as well. It is very interesting to
participate in this thread , because we use different approaches to the same painting, which gives possibility to discover something new.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 11:46 AM
Thank you evan and ianos dan for posting on my thread. I really do appreciate ! I do hope that other artist will participate there too. :)

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 11:57 AM
ianos dan : may I ask, what was the reason of choosing this olive hue imprimatura ?

ianos dan
05-23-2013, 02:26 PM
Nathalie ,it's not very olive ,it's more like the color of the wood (that light hue),but it came out like this because of the camera.(bad quality):)
it's more orange yellow than olive hue :).
l think Leonardo used that kind of warm imprimatura ,because the final painting has some warmth in shadows and reflections,besides that ,the unfinished painting (the adoration of magi) has that kind of imprimatura (kind of).

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 03:15 PM
I see. I have looked those pictures of "Adoration of the magi" in Yahoo and Google and many of them have a quite different colors and hues, so it is difficult to say, which one of them the true one.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 03:44 PM
Today I was looking for the images of "La belle ferroniere" and I found this one. There is a remark in Wikipedia about "A nineteenth-century copy of La Belle Ferronnière is conserved in the Musée des beaux-arts, Chambéry, France". I was looking for this copy allover Internet, but didn't find, so it could be , probably, this one .


ianos dan
05-23-2013, 04:20 PM
That is soooooo beautiful ! If l look closer ,the material of her clothing is like velvet or something ,the original is not like that ,does not have that strong highlights .And in this copy ,she has blue eyes?

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 05:21 PM
Yes, it looks very different.........

I found also the dress of "La belle ferroniere"


Nathalie Chavieve
05-25-2013, 08:50 AM
Hello, everyone . I am going to travel for one week, and I don't know if I will have time and possibility to check this thread, so do not be surprised if I am not posting here :lol: :wave:

05-26-2013, 02:34 PM
Eveline : Usually I do use for drawing on canvas or wood brown ink :Umbra / Umber/ Terre d'ombre , by Rohrer & Klingner Leipzig - Co, made in Germany. It is pigmented drawing and calligraphy ink, resistant to erasing and waterproof. Some times I do use black ink with the same qualities, from Spanish manufacture.

Definetly, I will learn a lot from this discussion as well. It is very interesting to
participate in this thread , because we use different approaches to the same painting, which gives possibility to discover something new.

Thanks so much, Nathalie! This is really helpfull. I'll do a search for the ink and definitely will try it out ;)

Nathalie Chavieve
06-04-2013, 07:43 AM
Few days ago I found this picture of "La belle ferroniere" . It has lot of light in it and it gives the opportunity to see better some details of the dress, hair.


ianos dan
06-04-2013, 10:17 AM
It look's kind of blurry ,l will try to make some adjustments on the photo ,that was posted on the beginning of this thread
Hope to succeed .....:)

ianos dan
06-04-2013, 12:48 PM
Here's the image after one hour of retouching in Photoshop .The background is blue (but the black color is the true one) .l'http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jun-2013/1165823-restored2.jpgve worked only at the face and neck,to bring back some color.

06-07-2013, 04:59 PM
Awesome thank! Will come in handy.

Nathalie Chavieve
06-15-2013, 12:17 PM
Here is my work in progress. I keep posting here too, as I promised :wave: