Building a Painting 2: Girl With A Cosmic Viewpoint (after Vermeer )

This article shows the series of steps in the implementation of an idea for a painting. The idea was to combine one of the Old Dutch Masters - Jan Vermeer – with a modern image of the Earth from space. Vermeer was master of light, and lived from 1632 to 1675. I wanted to learn from one of the great masters of light and realism. The composition worked out, because the cosmic source of our light, the sun, looks like it's the source of light on The Girl With a Pearl Earring. This was a practice piece for me too, to learn and to show that I could paint faces. This was my first face painting.

(Note: the colors can vary from shot to shot because of lighting and white balance issues with the camera.)


Original Photo

The first source photo. Obviously I didn't take this. That's a robotic arm from the Space Shuttle. I liked the look of the limb of the Earth.

Resource Photo: Clouds

Vermeer's "Girl With A Pearl Earring".
I chose this because Vermeer was a master with light and realism, and this was one of his masterworks. It was painted around 1665.

stage 1

Stage 1
Painting in the "sky" – the background of space.

stage 2

Stage 2
First stage of painting the sun, our star.

stage 3

Stage 3
Starting to paint the Earth, more work on the sun.

stage 4

Stage 4
Completing the Earth. The Earth was the fun and relatively easy part of this painting. More work on the sun – highlights,

stage 5

Stage 5
Begin work on the coat.

stage 6

Stage 6
Work on the headdress or scarf.

stage 7

Stage 7
Finish up the scarf and start on the face.

stage 8

Stage 8
Do the eyes, mouth, finish the nose, the earring. All of this is very hard work.

stage 9

Stage 9
Miscellaneous small refinements.

stage 10

Stage 10
Miscellaneous small refinements and varnishing.










© Eric Platt 2007