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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mugshot 45: Queen Mariana of Austria, after Velazquez

Boy o boy, this was really fun. I have loved Velazquez's paintings of this queen and her splendid hair and I learned so much doing it, it was like a little workshop. There is a child's portrait I have been wanting to do but couldn't figure out how the wrinkle-less cheek would be treated, and it was all there in the portrait. I did it once using my regular palette and couldn't get the color right (I mean it's not really right anyway, but way too far off) so I wiped it and slept on it, then the next day realized I could get the color with the earth tones that V. undoubtedly used, raw umber for one. I also used Indian yellow for the skin, it was so much more delicate than yellow ochre. As a matter of fact, the skin was all yellow, red and blue - the eyebrows were straight ultramarine and white. Of course I am working from a copy in a cheap magazine, but so what. This was a great experience, I can see why copying paintings is so valuable.


  1. Jean, OH MY are you good ! this is fabulous, and DOES look like a lot of fun ! You are somethin' else !!

  2. Your work is fascinating and so compelling. I especially love the way you write about the challenges you face. I just finished an article about Velazquez in the New Yorker and so enjoyed this post and painting all the more. Keep painting and keep writing. Thank you!

  3. OOOO - I wonder, is that a NEW New Yorker? Would love to read it.
    Thanks for this kind encouragement....I am wrestling with a second one today and have wanted to chuck it all out the window, but now feel slightly better.

  4. What fun! Very clever idea. I like Indian yellow, as well.