This is a brief description of the process of composing the painting.
The painting is based on an original drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger. He sent a copy of his drawing to his friend and fellow humanist Desiderius Erasmus.
The astronomer Nicholas Kratzer, a friend of Holbein and More as well as the tutor for More’s children, added the names and ages of the sitters on the drawing.
In addition to the drawing, the color palette references the following reproduction by Rowland Lockey.
Since the pastel was completed before we had measurements of the lunette space, it is slightly taller than the actual final project.
This color copy will be used as guide for the painting.
From a reproduction in a book, I drew using pen and ink, a copy approximately 36 inches wide by 24 inches high. This inked drawing will be enlarged to transfer the composition to the canvas. It also will be used as a reference for the detail in the clothing and various still life arrangements.
As preliminary work in preparation for this project, I did some studies of Holbein portraits as well as pastel studies of each of the figures in the composition. The next page shows individual head studies.