Classical Master Study: The Girl with the Pearl Earring

Girl with the Pearl Earring, Vermeer

The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is one of the classical paintings which I love the most. Vermeer, a master of light made a tronie which is an imaginary character, usually in exotic dress. He painted it in a way where he painted the softness of the face and the shine of the pearl which gave it its appeal

This is also the first classical art Master Study I did and I did it three times. Once in graphite and twice in gouache.

The first attempt was in graphite and it was on my Limelight Sketchbook. I was mostly studying the tones so it was a monochromatic effect. My rendition was not accurate but it was amazing to learn light as Vermeer studied it. He had amazing control of the light, making the girl seem to glow and be radiant against the black background. The tones were hard to recreate, but somehow I managed to do something a bit similar.

The next attempt was in gouache in the same sketchbook. This time I thought I would do something more similar, but the colors and the tones of the paint was still hard to recreate. I couldn’t seem to get the shadow on her face.

My final attempt was a bit more sketchy, and more tiled. The anatomy was a bit more accurate this time as well as the tones but i tried to make it more patchy, and more impressionistic. I concentrated on tones rather than likeness and I rather liked it better this way.

I learned so much with light and tones with this study. I am looking forward to more studies of Classical Art. I am hoping to learn more and more as I do this series and hope that I can continue with my Master Studies.

Both attempts at Girl with the pearl earring

the next one I hope to study is the MONA LISA