DUTCH PAINTERS, especially Vermeer and Van Gogh, have been the artists I’ve spent the most time studying. The contrast between styles in Vermeer and Van Gogh is profound. Understandable. They lived centuries apart.

It’s this contrast in styles that sends me back to both of these Dutch painters regularly. And my most recent painting explores some ideas incorporating Vermeer’s Milkmaid.

Dutch paintersThe first stage of this painting was a fairly-detailed drawing. It took the better part of a day to block in the scene with pencil.

In the photo to the right you can see that I’m working on the underpainting in Payne’s gray and white. The paint layers are kept thin and diluted with water thanks to Winsor & Newton Artisan Oil Colours.

During the process a couple of my wife’s friends visited and were intrigued by what was going on. They had never seen a painting in progress. They asked my wife about it. Since I wasn’t around to explain I decided to post a brief explanation.

This step took a week as I refined some of the drawing and fixed distortions. I work from photographs which have quite a few weird artifacts that need to be corrected for my purposes.

And there is the editing process, too. Deciding what to leave in and what to paint out.

The painting will be a long haul since it is large. In the photo below you can get a sense of how large it is. My daughter is almost six feet tall, so that should give you a sense of the scale.

This week I refine the underpainting a bit more and begin developing the picture within a picture within a picture.

Dutch Painters

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