Saturday, June 30, 2018

The girl

One would think after completing the Renaissance painting, the rest would be a piece of cake. But until this point, I hadn't decided on the color of her shirt. Do I make it pretty blue or green, or would a soft pink make the overall painting more effective. She still stands out from the wall, but does not compete with the busyness of the master painting. However, her skirt gives a nod to the flowers of the Spanish painting's rug.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

16th century art

One commentator I read said that the Spanish painters of this era took the ideas of the Italian Renaissance and then threw the kitchen sink at them. With all the iconic references (lamb and banner, robe on the infant Saint John, various elements of Mary's life, angels in the heavens, holy book) and the local references (men on horseback, landscape, clothing), why is there a monkey in the painting?

Most of my paintings are of wildlife (did get to paint the monkey, bird, and lamb in this piece but hardly the same as a wildlife painting.) The delicate flesh tones of humans are not something with which I am very familiar. How do I even tackle this?
The first step was to grab my tube of flesh tone paint. (Not sure I have even used it before.) Hmm. The color is a bit pinkish and flat. Yellow ochre, naples yellow, cadmium red, burnt umber, and raw umber were some of the additional colors used. I do appreciate how Juan de Burgunya delicately portrayed the face of Mary. At each step (cheeks, chin, eyes, forehead) I referred back to his genius.

I have to admit that when I started, this type of painting was not my favorite. It seemed too contrived. But as I have explored (you might say every inch of this piece), my appreciation has grown tremendously. The composition, the placement of detail, the reds moving throughout the piece, the action of Jesus with a bird on his fingertip, the ribbon of water, and so much more contribute to a painting I now enjoy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Gown

The remainder of the landscape did not get any easier. Working on the columns on the left side took a very small brush so it is refreshing to have the larger expanses of color for the gown.
 I mixed three dark blues: the darkest dark, the slightly more gray/green dark blue, and the lighter dark blue for the wrinkles. The powder blue (cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and titanium white) was mixed and carefully moved to a safer section on my palette to prevent contamination from the other colors.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The landscape

The intricate landscape is a challenge. Not only does the water change color, but there are buildings and people scattered throughout. My painting is 15" X 13.75" which is adding to the difficulty. In addition, I am constantly evaluating how much detail to include. Everything from the original Virgin and Child with Infant Saint John must be included but needs to feel painterly - Juan de Burgunya painterly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The carpet

In painting the painting, there are many parts I expect to be quite difficult and which will take all my skills. The carpet was not one of them. Not only did it bend around the platform but I am adding the shadow from the girl. May I just say, "Aaaaagggghhhhk." And whose bright idea was this?

On the other hand, I thought the book would be quite challenging. For the dark of the spine area I used burnt umber as the base and moved out to the edges with yellow ochre and naples yellow to create the gold look. Once the white of the open pages was painted, it was rather easy to paint the Latin script with just enough detail to look like writing.

Monday, June 11, 2018

New (and Old) painting

Mixing old and new - I have been crazy enough to paint two of these before. The first one is a group of paintings hanging in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the second one is from the Smithsonian's Museum National Gallery of Art.
Art Appreciation by Linda Besse

The Art Student by Linda Besse
I've been wanting to paint a more intimate piece. Below is the start. This painting hangs in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. It is by Juan de Burgunya (also referred to as Juan de Borgona, Joan de Burgunya and a host of other close spellings.) Painted between 1515 and 1525, the oil painting on wood is titled Virgin and Child with Infant Saint John (Mare de Déu amb el Nen i sant Joanet.)
I am not sure I could choose a more difficult piece - and I am painting it at an angle! Here goes.

 I have to admit I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out where to start on the masterpiece once the frame was painted. Finally settling on the straight line of the "platform," I began with the shadowed water.