Thursday, 26 September 2013

Oil Painting the Mona Lisa: a Portrait Painting Challenge in 48 Steps Hardback

Many would consider viewing this painting in the Louvre as the ultimate experience in appreciating Da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa but few may consider actually painting it. The subtle sfumato effects – Da Vinci’s shading technique resembling smoke – might seem too much of a challenge. However, this book aims to break down the task of painting the Mona Lisa into small, manageable steps.

Portrait Painting Guide Book

I included a step by step demo of how to paint the Mona Lisa in one of my art books, Skin Tones in Oil: 10 Step by Step Guides from Old Masters. However, this particular project ended up so lengthy, decided to release a separate ebook and now hardback on how I painted the Mona Lisa in oils.

Tips on Painting the Mona Lisa in Detail

This unique art book contains extra features that explore sfumato in more detail, namely creating heightened awareness of tones and viewing the face as an abstract series of shapes. A selection of oil painting techniques has also used, including glazing, dry-brushing and shading. The aim is not to produce a carbon copy of the original, as I do not believe copying is being truly creative. The aim of this book to explore sfumato for its own sake and create a slightly different version of Da Vinci’s masterpiece along the way. The background colours have therefore been altered as well as giving La Gioconda a slightly different look.

Paint the Mona Lisa with Sfumato

The screenshots offers an inside preview of how this book looks. Each page is a blend of step by step images and text that explain how each stage was completed. Introductory chapters also help the developing portraitist view the face in new and different ways for future practice.

Art Book on Sfumato Technique

Learning the sfumato method is not easy, but is possible with time and patience. This book attempts to guide the portraitist through various stages of getting sfumato effects that can be used in future portrait painting. A delicate effect that comes from the Italian word, Sfumare, which means ‘to evaporate like smoke,’ this technique is almost impossible to achieve in one glaze alone, as in alla prima. Several glazes have therefore been used.

Portrait Painting Challenge
Rachel Shirley

Dimensions of Art Book

This invaluable art book for portrait painting measures 10x8in and is 46 pages long. Also available on Kindle. This demonstration can also be found in my other portrait painting book, Skin Tones in Oil: 10 Step by Step Guides from Old Masters.

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