View Full Version : The Gleaners - WIP

Michael King
09-03-2013, 09:37 AM
The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet has always been one of my favorites.

This image had the vibrancy increased and the curves raised to lighten it because my printer always prints photos darker than they appear on my pc screen.

About a year ago I did a digital drawing using Sketchclub on my iPad.
That is here: http://app.sketchclub.com/user/16365717#/sketch/19775902

I was so captivated by it I decided to do an Oil. This is Day 1. Laying it out and putting the first wash on. This copy is 16" x 20".
(The orangish slanted line at the bottom and some vertical lines above it are not part of the layout or a grid (I don't use grids) This is an old canvas where I started something else. I gessoed over it and started this one.


09-03-2013, 11:37 AM
This is going to be a very interesting copy. Are you trying to copy the artist's techniques as well as the painting, or will you do your own interpretation of it? I assume the later, based on your sketch.

It is also fascinating seeing all the different images of it on the net - the wikipedia one is very green, another is quite saturated, another quite brown...

Off topic - Your sketch could actually be a basis for a van Gogh style painting. OK, shoot me now, was just a thought!

Michael King
09-03-2013, 01:08 PM
Thank you! This is just the first steps. My plans are for it to look like his. The heavy outlines will disappear. It will not be alike in size, nor is it supposed to be a historical recreation of his methods and materials. It is somewhat widened horizontally a small bit too to fit the canvas. Only trying to duplicate the looks.

09-04-2013, 09:37 AM
Looks great Micheal! I do use grids and still am not as accurate as you are freehand...sigh. I just watched a docu about Pissaro and they talked a lot about Millet's influence on him in general and this painting in particular. Can't wait to see your next steps!

Michael King
09-04-2013, 10:30 AM
Thank you Adam! In my early years I tried grid but found them to be cumbersome and determined to learn how to draw without them. Eventually I started to understand how to watch relative sizes, angles, negative spaces, etc. to get things right. Still learning ... Practice, practice, practice!

Michael King
09-04-2013, 10:32 AM
Oh yeah ... The fact that I am retired and have the time to take my time helps! 😄

09-04-2013, 04:47 PM
yeah, i just lose sleep practicing! My freehand has gotten a lot better, and I fully agree that grids are annoying to set up, but I still use them when I "need" to be exact :-)

Michael King
09-06-2013, 11:09 AM
Here is Day 2's work. I worked on it EARLY this morning from 1:30 until almost 5 am! I accomplished a fair amount. There is much, much detail to do. I am immensely loving doing this one!


Michael King
09-24-2013, 05:12 PM



This is about 18 hours painting.

09-24-2013, 10:49 PM
18 hours well spent. it looks great, mr. king! is it finished?

Michael King
09-25-2013, 01:56 AM
Adam ... No I still have a fair amount of detail left to paint.
What amazed me was the huge difference in color shown in the various image references I looked at. I finally settled on a litho I purchased through ebay for the coloring.

09-25-2013, 10:02 AM
i'm having the same problem with my "venus" project...i like the version i see on my monitor, but it's impossible to match 'cause i tilt my head one degree and the colors change! i have a poster print, but don't really like the colors it shows. *sigh*
what's a fella to do?
anyway, your color choices look great so far, but i could tell from the beginning you would do a good job. looking forward to the final draft...
toi toi toi!

Michael King
09-25-2013, 10:17 AM
Thank you! I found some photos of some paintings on Flickr that were taken in a Museum (I don't know how they allowed that) ... anyway they were very high resolution and I feel the colors were better. You might do a search there.

09-25-2013, 10:24 AM

Michael King
09-25-2013, 10:29 AM
Thank you Mary!

09-25-2013, 01:16 PM
I'm impressed by this, I want to try this myself... of some of my favorites are landscapes like this too.

09-26-2013, 02:45 AM
Michael, this is looking really good. You have really respected the original, but not "made a copy". I think you are thinking about the actual colors of the painting, when it was painted, minus all yellowing varnish, minus all the various online versions which have changed color cast, overcompensated for contrast etc. A brilliant job with the cools and warms of the fabrics and their weight.

I hope you will be into joining us for a new Master copy at the end of the year, probably Rubens or Raphael.

Michael King
09-28-2013, 04:05 PM

"The Gleaners" From Millet by Michael King
Oil Painting on Stretched Canvas 16" x 20"
Essentially Finished, small touch ups and
a "Retouch Varnish" coat on Oct. 5. and I'll
call it finished. This is the sort of thing I could
work on a long time but I need to stop at some
point. Will be Available after the retouch varnish dries.

One reason I'll never be "great" I lack the patience to work on a painting for a long time. I have about 20-24 hours in this.

10-02-2013, 02:22 AM
i think you're "great" enough :) 24 hrs. is a good cut off time