Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pearls are a girl's best friend

Since I haven’t done a post on this in awhile I thought I’d share some info on one of my Master study ACEO’s, this time with Vermeer and that saucy gal with the pearl earring.

I had contemplated doing this particular piece for awhile but because I’m not deviating from the originals in terms of colour, style, etc for this small project I wanted to do something a bit different to give it a different feel and to make it a bit more of my own.
To do this I decided against the typical portrait format of the piece being vertical and instead went for a landscape format. This meant that I had to crop the piece and this is where it got interesting because the original is pretty basic on it’s own so I didn’t have a lot to play with. Ultimately I found a crop that I was happy with and at that point the games began:

"After Vermeer- "Girl with a Pearl Earring" " ACEO
Part 1- Jeepers, someone needs to get out and get some sun!

Initially I had debated doing this piece at all because it’s a very well-known image and any discrepancies between my mini version and the original would be horribly obvious to just about anyone that hasn’t been living in a vacuum and also because I find I get bored very easily when doing “popular” images (this will be the subject of another post).

"After Vermeer- "Girl with a Pearl Earring" " ACEO
Part 2- Looking better, but some bronzer wouldn't hurt.

I think in the end it turned out pretty well and, as expected, I learned a few things from doing this one. First and foremost is that I’m finding that for any piece involving a portrait (or a piece where a human subject is prominent), regardless of the individual’s skin tone, working on a warm coloured support is best. I had a lot of difficulty achieving the warm skin tones form the original and it got to the point where I simply could not layer any more colour onto this ACEO. I also took a chance with the cropping and, if I may toot my own horn, I’m quite pleased with it. I get bored with seeing and doing conventional. Having said that, “conventional” definitely has it’s place, don’t get me wrong, but these mini studies are strictly for experimenting and finding out what I can and can’t do... and where I need more work. ;)

So here’s how she turned out:

"After Vermeer- "Girl with a Pearl Earring" " ACEO
Coloured pencil on Mi-Teintes
Copyright Rita Woodburne

I’m happy, she looks happy (I think) and I even have another ACEO portrait study lined up from another famous fellow... but you’ll have to wait to see that one.

In keeping with my plan for the year I also started a large piece, an 11x14 to warm me up for something larger, and I’m hoping to have a few progress shots to share this week-end. We’re getting more snow so what better time to work on art, right?


Jennifer Rose said...

The crop works well this way. its still a nice composition.

Lisa B. said...

She's beautiful, Rita. I think every artist copies this portrait at one time or another, but you're the first to try a new crop. I like the crop.

Rita said...

Jennifer and Lisa, thanks for the kudos!

Cropping can be a funny beast, so hopefully my other portrait study will work out as well as this one did...