The Girl with a Metal Earring

In The Girl with a Pearl Earring, does that earring look like a pearl to you?
And the way she’s ducking her head forward is very cute, but I painted her sitting upright. Here’s my drawing, freehand as always:

drawing girl metal earring
Drawing for girl with metal earring

I made a huge mistake and decided to oil paint on watercolor paper. See, I thought spraying the paper with fixative would seal it. I was wrong. I could only move the paint around for a minute. The oil was slurped into the paper, I suppose! Or into the surface sizing? Here’s the shadows that stuck in place almost immediately:

Underpainting girl with metal earring
Underpainting girl with metal earring

I now have enough paint on the surface that today I was able to paint her skin tone a little better. I’m done, though the camera exaggerates the underpainting. It doesn’t show through quite like that 🙁 :

Girl with a Metal Earring
Girl with a Metal Earring

(enhanced signature, because it didn’t show)
Oil on watercolor paper 12 x 16 in / 30.5 x 40.5 cm.

Some thoughts while I was looking at the photos of that wonderful Vermeer painting: Why isn’t her earlobe extended? The earring looks heavy.  And it_ain’t_no_pearl!
Europeans of that time had no cheekbones? No eyebrows?
Was she tired? Was she slouching? It looks like she was ducking her head forward, because the cloth hanging from the turban is swinging backward, isn’t it?
Is that veining in her cheek, above the cast light of the earring?

YouTube ‘video’

I made a little first slideshow of some paintings & drawings for YouTube:

It was spur of the moment! I use Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition, and all you have to do to record your desktop (whatever you’re doing on your computer) is press the key combination Ctrl-Alt-Shift-r. I started an image slideshow in an image viewer, pushed that key combo. When the slideshow was on the last image, I pushed the key combo to stop the recording. Cinnamon makes a movie in WebM format and puts it into your home folder. I uploaded that to YouTube. It took an eyeblink amount of time.

Update: I just saw that users can create photo slideshows directly in YouTube. I am such a doofus.

Still life like Preyer

I decided to follow the example of a fine still life painter, Emilie Preyer. I started by drawing the fruit with a graphite pencil, making millions of marks as I changed my mind about the positions:

drawing for still life
1st step in painting.

The next day, I thinned water-mixable oil paint with water and used that wash to show shadows/form, more lines and to color the background:

Underpainting-like Preyer
Underpainting for the still life like Preyer.

After that, I thinned the paint with walnut oil to form thin glazes and applied what I decided would be good base colors for the fruit:

color for still life like Preyer
First color for the still life like Preyer.

After a day of letting that dry, I added more color and more details. I worked a lot on the peach half:

More color and details for still life like Preyer
More color and details.

The next day, I went back to the plums, after doing more to that peach half. I added some juice drops…touched up that cute fly thing. Tried to straighten the back edge of the table. The buds on the twigs are really too small for me to work with:

day 4 of still life like Preyer
Another detail day.

The final day, I painted over marks, added two or three more highlights and called it done. Signed my name! I mainly looked at this particular still life. So, the final:

Still life like Preyer
The final painting of Still life like Preyer.

12×16 in (30.5×40.5 cm)

Note: the photo isn’t exactly accurate. The whole peach and the grapes are not really that washed-out looking.


Self portrait drawing

I drew myself while looking at the photo. I also looked in the mirror, but I kept tilting my head to look through the lower part of my bifocals, which meant I would have drawn a picture of myself looking at the ceiling. I’ve decided I’d be a great source for portraits – no copyright problem. I hereby give myself full rights to my likeness 🙂

self portrait
Self portrait drawing 5.2014

Inner hombre

I meditated a little this week and contacted my inner hombre. He’s apparently got a tattoo on his forehead 😉
Too bad the photo doesn’t show the yellow, red & blue I put in.
I used my eldest son as reference — that’s where the strong chin & jawline come from. But largely, this came from my imagination. Which didn’t give me a crystal clear image. The experience makes me appreciate photos as reference material!!!


Hugo art show

Yesterday, I went to the Hugo, OK art show. I didn’t know about it beforehand, so didn’t enter. When I wandered over to the adult painting category, I was pleasantly surprised to see a local(?) artist with a definite personal style and great painting technique. Her name is Susie Murphy. I’ve googled and can’t find her work. That’s too bad. She deserves a lot of exposure. Actually, you deserve to enjoy her art.

I also saw a drawing by a neighbor of mine, Mike Pinson. Yep, right down the road lives a cowboy who draws realistic portraits of cowboy life.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe the little villages foster talent, exactly because there isn’t much to do. Out in the countryside especially, where cable TV and internet don’t reach.

p.s. Maybe I can beg a photo from someone else who attended. I want to get up a photo of a painting by Susie Murphy.


Cindy Moon McKee