View Full Version : Girl with a Pearl Earring

12-10-2013, 06:43 AM
Hi artists!

A long time (6 years!) I was away from the easel. Now I'm back. After painting a few warm up still lives, I started with a copy of Vermeers greatest painting (my opinion).
I decided to paint with a grisaille and glazing.
This is the dead layer. Hope you like it!

PS: I know have to fix some things. The shadow on the right cheek is a bit too dark, for example

12-11-2013, 10:15 AM
A classic. A lovely start, looking forward to seeing this progress. You might want to check out http://www.penroseart.com/vermeer01.htm

12-11-2013, 10:35 AM
Thank's a lot! I know the penrose site. It was part of my inspiration.
Found some problems in my pic today... I have to change the nose...

12-12-2013, 09:19 AM
Changed a lot!

The foto is overexposed :-(

ianos dan
12-13-2013, 11:30 AM
Love this grisaille ,or dead layer !Lots of details,although Vermeer probably kept the highlights for the last layer ,but still ,wonderful job on tones :)
And an advice; if you have this underpainting ,you probably will have to work thicker ,not only glazes ,because this layer will have a huge effect on the upper layers ,and ,in time,you will see a dull painting ,not so colorful as Vermeer's.
Great job!

12-18-2013, 08:16 AM
The last step on the grisaille.

For sure I will not only work with glazes. Glazing should help to make the shadows deep and alive. In the light areas, I will work with thicker paint.
Did you mean that?

Nathalie Chavieve
12-19-2013, 01:10 PM
I like alot your grisaille - it looks really very nice and like a complete work . Looking forward for the next steps !

I have watched the link which Allison posted and I find it very interesting . My only concern about this demonstration - is an author's choice of the flesh tone. I do not think, that Vermeer's palette for the flesh tone was so yellow and red. When we copying an old Masters painting, we have to remember how old they are and the colors, mediums and varnishes got darker and yellower. What we see now is not really a true colors. Think about it .

12-20-2013, 10:18 AM
Yes, I think I will choose others colors than Penrose. More red.
After christmas I will start with the first glazings. But before glazing the face (like Penrose), maybe I'll start with the turban and her clothes to adjust the face color and shadow to the surrounding colors.

Great artwork on your website, Nathalie!

ianos dan
12-20-2013, 10:27 AM
AndreasT ,didn't understood your question.

12-20-2013, 12:42 PM
Dan, I think he meant he will do thicker in highlights, but not in shadows - glaze colors. And you are saying he should do thick all over because of the strong grisaille, which Vermeer did not make so strong. I am looking forward to seeing how you continue.

12-23-2013, 07:20 AM
Dan, I think he meant he will do thicker in highlights, but not in shadows - glaze colors. And you are saying he should do thick all over because of the strong grisaille, which Vermeer did not make so strong. I am looking forward to seeing how you continue.
Yes, I meant this.

ianos dan
12-23-2013, 07:48 AM
Okay ,yeah ,so thicker in light areas will be great,halftone could be left from grisaille ,shadows with dark warm colors :).
Please post some work in progress photos ,it will be great to see how you will approach this .(it's even more interesting for our eyes then the final piece ;) )
For inspiration a truth on your flesh colors ,you could make some photos of you wife ,or daughter ,or any girl,the point is to see the flesh color in real life ,it will help a lot.
Cheers !Merry Christmas and happy painting!

12-23-2013, 12:26 PM
First Glazing.
Liquin painting medium.
The blue part of the turban glazed with Ultramin.
The yellow band with azo yellow. The cape with yellow ocher.
Face glazed with a mixture of vermilion and yellow ocher. The mouth with the same mixture, but more red.
Then increases white with titanium white and blended with the glazed parts. No white in the shadows!

Next, I plan to:

2. Glaze of the turban with ultramarine, but mixed with a bit umber.
The band will be glazed with yellow ocher, to minimize this Lemon Yellow Touch.

And the face will be glazed with burnt umber with a bit Ultramarin. The right shadows will also bring back more likeness.

The photo is not good due to the light conditions in Germany :-) But it i will go on with the glazes and so I had to do it today.

12-23-2013, 05:23 PM
really nice so far!
you may have seen, but there is a very good documentary about vermeer's painting technique, around 33:30 they show the precise layers of "girl with the red hat" using x-ray's (i think) anyway i found it quite interesting:


look forward to your progress! :thumbsup:

12-25-2013, 06:46 PM
I think it's one of the closest renditions I've seen of this painting, looking forward to the finished work.

12-28-2013, 08:24 AM
Next step. Next time, I will only glaze the yellow band and the right light part of the turban. Al least, I will paint with thicker colors. I have to reduce the yellow in the band.
In real you see a lot of brush strokes in the face. Has anyone experience with sanding a painting in this stage?

Nathalie Chavieve
01-02-2014, 07:57 AM
I think you are doing very well with your copy. Nice work !

I do sanding and scraping with a blade my paintings before every next color layer. It helps to remove the dust and excessive paint. If you want to do sanding of your painting, it is better if you'll use a fine sand paper - 800 to 1000, otherwise it will make bad scratches on the surface. After sanding, clean the painting with a rag and apply linseed oil to bring out dull colors.

I have got lately some artist magazine which was dedicated Vermeer's life and paintings. In this magazine was and example of the technique used to creat this painting. It was said, that the imprimatura and underpainting was done in warm tones : with Permanent Rose and Burnt sienna. The background was painted not in black but in green color made from Indigo and Reseda yellow over black undrepainting. His painting palette was : Lead white, Yellow ochre, Permanent Rose, Cadmium red light, Raw umber, Lemon yellow, Burnt sienna, Ultramarine, Cardon black, Indigo and Reseda yellow ( I do not know if it is the right name for this yellow color, but it prodused from the herb Reseda luteola ).

I do not know if this article was a 100 % correct about Vermeer's technique, but it is interesting anyway - just wanted to share :)

01-03-2014, 01:03 PM
Hello Andreas,

I just joined this thread because I too am attempting a copy of the "Girl with Pearl Earring". You probably already know this... The original of the painting is at the Mauritshuis Museum in La Hague. For a reference, you can view it online (at the museum website) and zoom in to see the fine details of the painting. A great tool, I think.

Nathalie Chavieve
01-17-2014, 12:39 PM
Here you can find lot of useful information about Vermeer's technique, palette, mediums and ect. Hope it will help you.


01-22-2014, 02:15 PM
It is a fine copy! Really like your earing andthe reflections in it, though you missed the wonderful yet very subtle reflction it throws on her cheek. Some of your lines appear very hard (where yellow and blue border of head scarf thing meet back of shirt for example. Her eyes are also a bit hard, look outlined, and the iris of her left eye is missing - on the original it is subtle but it is there. Considering your copy (or at least the photo of it) is much lighter than the original, I would think the iris would be even more apparant.

01-24-2014, 04:24 PM
Excellent work. I have her in my living room NFS

01-28-2014, 02:52 PM

02-14-2014, 09:42 AM
Looking good so far.

Regarding sanding ... I have done it at all stages. You have to be very careful though, the biggest risk being toxicity (I also use lead white, so itís even more risky). I normally put a good amount of oil (as if you going to oil out) the area that I want to sand Ö then use 600 grit sanding paper (or what works for you), that way the particles get trapped in the oil and I guess itís more like grinding than sanding. Then wipe all the oil off. I think the approach is sound. You also have to know your support and ground, in my case I also have a firm support and always make my own ground so I know how deep I have to go to get back to the ground if I really want to. If you have textured ground, sanding gets very problematic as you donít want to break the sealant that is protecting linen/cotton fibers.

02-04-2015, 09:47 AM
Very good work so far, I am sure the finished piece will be brilliant.