This is the second exercise in my series of portrait copies to gain proficiency with Holbein’s methods in preparation for the requirements of the larger work.
The portrait of A Lady with a Squirrel and Starling was selected because it’s another relatively simple head study, appropriate for initial practice.
The process is illustrated in the following pictures. The drawing is first transferred to the panel. Next a bistre underpainting is done using burnt umber paint. Over this a dead color layer is completed using warm reds and browns. Finally the light areas are painted to complete the work.
A 9 in. by 12 in. masonite panel with a white oil ground.
A salmon color, mixed from transparent orange, cadmium red light, english red and cremnitz lead white is scumbled.
The drawing is transferred and the lines inked.
This is the beginning of the bistre underpainting.
Only the shadows are painted leaving the pink panel to represent the light areas.
The background and costume are painted almost to completion.
A warm color similar to the dead color layer is painted over the shadows in the flesh.
A medium warm light color is painted over the flesh in anticipation of the lighter colors.
The background and costume are finished and the flesh is ready for the final layers of paint.
The next page describes Sir Thomas More portrait.