If you have seen the previous installments of this series, you will know that it is a practice of mine, as part of learning about an artist, to paint a work in the manner of the artist studied. Sometimes it is an exact copy of a work, such as my reproduction of Judith and Her Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi or a change in a picture such as a self-portrait using Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier.
I have turned my attention to Velazquez and have decided on an original portrait in the manner of the artist. I will not be making a copy or using a picture by Velazquez. His pictures are reviewed to inform me of his style and techniques. We know from the previous article the color palette used and the manner of application.
The final part of the project of painting a picture has been delayed due to these circumstances:
- The picture must be done in one attempt during approximately a six-eight hour period.
- No preliminary drawings should be done since Velazquez apparently did none.
- The media and materials should match Velazquez’s technique.
- The lighting must be similar
- And finally, the sitter must be able to endure all the fuss.
Nevertheless, this weekend, having prepared as much as possible in advance, I intend to execute the portrait. I am allowing to take a bit longer than Velazquez due to the necessity of documenting the steps digitally. Also, don’t expect an article to appear right away, because that in itself will require a little time.
In the mean time, examining some Velazquez portraits might give one an idea of the task. A very nice article about the artist, which links to other quality essays, can be found on the the Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
These are just a few of the portraits by Velazquez. The cursory, yet accurate way that they are executed is quite remarkable. For a look back at the previous article, which explains in more detail, how he executed these sort of pictures, go to this link, The Velazquez Prize Continued.