REMBRANDT - VELAZQUEZ - VERMEER

The history of European Old Master Paintings covers several centuries.
Roughly from the late 1300's with the Van Eyck brothers, to about the mid 1700's.

Modernization and the eventual Industrial Revolution changed  the Old Master studios and
teaching methods.
Much studio knowledge was lost forever.

Modern science has learned much in the 20th and 21st centuries, about the methods and
materials
used by the Old Masters, and scientists continue to study the subject.

Artists too, like myself, have worked to reverse engineer the methods and materials
used by the Old Masters. The modern era since about the 1800's onward,
has seen several artist-authors , Eastlake, Maroger, Taubes, Mayer, publish books with their
beliefs,
but they contain many errors because they lacked modern science.

1- 4- 2015

Please read my book and see my DVDS to properly understand
the foundation of these tests
.
REMBRANDT
This is a study of
how I believe he
painted his Self-Portraits.
VERMEER
PAINTED WITH MANY METHODS
OF OPTICS AND MIRRORS

ONE IS THE CAMARA OBSCURA
ANOTHER WAS THE CAMARA LUCIDA
ANIOTHER WAS AN OFFSET TRANSFER METHOD
AND ANOTHER WAS WITHOUT USE OF OPTICS OR MIRRORS
REMBRANDT'S SELF-PORTRAITS  
are mirror-reversed images, meaning
when you look at them, what you
believe is his right ear is really his left
ear.

In his 63 year life, Rembrandt paint,
Drew or Etched pictures of his face
more than any other Old Master. It is
estimated there are 90, covering him
from youth to old age.
WHY SO MANY?
I believe it was so he could study the
effects of Nature's changing lights and
shade, and so he could learn the
secrets of painting realistically.

A mirror allows an artist to do that, and
one does not have to pay model fees.

Velazquez also painted
mirror-reversed images from
reflections observed in a flat mirror.

There are different kinds of mirrors. A
flat mirror simply reflects a
reverse-image of reality.

A concave mirror is a PROJECTION
DEVICE. It can project images to
another surface, like an artists canvas,
or to a wall...or to another mirror.

ON THE VERMEER EXPERIMENTS
[ on the other side of the page] I will be
posting my thoughts about the other
PROJECTION DEVICE used by
some--not all- Old Masters.
it is an OPTICAL LENS and is used  
with a dark room called. the CAMARA
OBSCURA.

It appears REmbrandt and Velazquez
had some use of the Dark room, but
not as did Vermeer. We simply do not
know with any certainty.

HERE ON THIS LEFT SIDE OF THE
PAGE IS  MY EXPERIMENT
on how I think REmbrandt set up his
flat mirror to record his face on the
canvas.

1. I BEGIN WITH THE "'CSO' SET UP
OF MATERIALS

2. I CREATED A VALUE FINDER AS
TAUGHT BY MANY OLD BOOKS, THE
OLDEST BEING FROM THE
110-1200'S, a book titled ON DIVERS
ARTS, written by Theophilus .

3. I did not use the value finder in
painting this picture. I found that my
efforts to use the value finder were
complicated by a very blustery cloudy
day where the lights in my room kept
changing minute by minute.I found the
value finder basiclly unusable. It could
be used at a later time as a
CHECKER-RECHECKER of values.

4. You will see how CSO can be used
to create 4 different values of white. I
used Titanium Dioxide white-a modern
white not available to the Old
Masters--BUT , I use it because I will
not expose myself nor my family to the
poisonous LEAD WHITE that was used
by the Old Masters.

5. I use the simple GRID I learned from
Frank Covino [ born 1931-]. See my
other web pages for more informationj
on the teachings of FRANK COVINO.
At the bottom are a few other line
drawings to explain  facts related to
mirrors or to how to enlarge or
accurately reduce a drawing in
scale-size by means of ancient
knowledge..

6. I have long thought that
Vermeer-and many other masters
would underpaint with a quick drying
Tempera paint. They had three to
choose from: MILK [ casein] , EGG, or
HIDE GLUE. These would be painted
thinly like watercolor- and when
completed an oil is applied to protect
the surface, making it permanent and  
impermeable. There are many solid
reasons for use of TEmpera  as an
underpainting medium, and it was used
as science shows, by various artists.

7. The main reason I believe Vermeer
began with tempera paint is because
he PRIMERED his canvases with
gesso--a perfect primer layer for
Tempera paints. His meticulous
ultra-detailed applications also point
out to use of Tempera paints.

8. In this painting, I began with three
values of Tempera milk paint. I closed
my left eye which was placed right at
the center of the grid. It became my
registration point, because I had to
keep getting up to take photos. My
head moved too much so I leaned it on
my hand/arm.

9. As I said, the lighting in my room
kept vacilatiing. These changes of light
and shadow also altered the colors.
COLOR has three properties that are
inter-related and connected to each
other
HUE: the actual color
CHROMA: The brightness or dullness
of that hue
VALUE: the lights or darks


10. I blended the back ground with my
finger--one of the most valuable tools
an artist has. Finbgerprints have been
found in the paintings of DaVinci,
Raphael, and many others. NOTE how
the lights became dark in my room.

11. The portrait is finished. The total
time was 4 hours.
THis is an ALLA PRIMA painting..but
on top of a dry TEmpera MONOTONE.
The monotone is a help and this
procedure was used by all the great
Old Masters, Rembrandt, Velazquez,
Rubens, Titian etc....Some called it the
' dead color' or the ' monotone', or the
'Verdaccio', or the 'Grisaille'. The
principle and worth is the same.

12. The last photo is the gray scale I
used. As I said, I did not use it.
THE MOVIE, "TIM'S VERMEER"
which is a darkened area fixed with a glass lens. This lens will then
project images from outside, into the dark area. The problems are
that the image , tho beautiful and in full color,
is upside down [ inverted] and it is mirror-reversed. Meaning that if
any words are projected, they are written backwards.

Please see my Youtube video, " TIM'S VERMEER, WHY THE MOVIE
FAILED". It explains in detail why I cannot agree with Mr. Tim Jenison,
that his 'device' was known to or used by Vermeer.

PART ONE:
In my view, the movie is a long magic trick that deceives the viewer.
The Producer and Director are the famous Las Velas Magicians,
Penn and Teller. They are long time friends of TIM.

The movie was officially released in November 2013. It was publically
aired in  theaters in January 2014. I saw the movie then. A lot of
questions were raised as I saw the movie. But, it moves so fast, I was
unable to STUDY it in detail.

THen, In June, 2014, the movie was released on DVD and Download.
I purchased the download version , and I was able to study the film ,
frame by frame. I continued to believe the film is deceptive IF it was
trying to show how Vermeer used tools .

PART TWO:

THERE IS NO DOUBT that Vermeer used lenses and mirrors and
TRACED images in the Camara Obscura. Only through projection
can one easily trace images.. PLEASE NOTE: TRACING IMAGES IS
NOT CHEATING. Tracing is just one more tool or method artrists use
to make fine paintings. BUT< NOT ALL FINE ARTISTS TRACE.

My best artist friend TRACES and creates beauitiful work. That is
because he is SELECTIVE and does not trace everything he sees in
the projected image.
ALSO, he is a master designer and DESIGN is one of the very
important components to a fine painting.

I TRIED TRACING only one time in my life. THat was in the 1980's. I
HATED THE METHOD. I never made another tracing!!!
I felt it curtailed my creativity.

PART THREE:
It was good luck that TIM JENISON participated on a BLOG, and
answered questions about the TECHNICAL procedures of how he
copied a Vermeer painting. I thank Tim for this and I learned the
important procedures that were not included in the film.
Tim and I carried on a conversation on the BLOG.
See it at  www.essentialvermeer.com
Scroll down to about September 1st. That is when Tim begins.

CONCLUSION
I will add more information here as time goes on
Thank you
Louis 11/3/2014
A MIRROR CAN BOUNCE LIGHT
I am using a small mirror to bounce
sunlight into a darkened area of my
room
.
This is the method I believe most
likely that Vermeer used  to make
fuzzy indistinct areas become highly
illumiunated. Once illuminated, he
was able to trace the fine details
while inside the Camara Obscura.

The ancient Egyptians, like Vermeer,
had no electricity and no spotlights.
BUT, they could arrange several
mirrors on stands, and bounce light
deep into the tunnels of their
pyramids, or  anywhere they wished,
by a relay of flat mirrors or shiny
metal plates.
THE MOVIE , " TIM'S VERMEER" , PART TWO
Those who saw the movie, " Tim's Vermeer", left the theater with
varied opinions. I am a professional artist and art educator, and
when I saw the movie in January, 2014, I was left with many
unanswered questions. Basically, I felt deceived at what the movie
tried to say about Vermeer and how he created some of the world's
greatest masterpieces.

"Tim's Vermeer" is a Hollywood movie and these movies are a
commodity with the goal of selling for profits. There is a big
difference with these types and scholarly academic documentaries
that are a search for truth. Tim and the others involved in making
this movie were on a whirlwind promotional tour for months. All the
interviews were directed at " advertising". Everyone was shaking
hands, patting each other on the back, and making congratulatory
comments. Missing facts about the movie were ignored. No one
was asking hard or critical questions.

TIM BREAKS HIS SILENCE
It was finally in September 2014, that Tim chose to speak openly
about his scientific experiment leading to copying a Vermeer
masterpiece. Tim deserves a lot of recognition for his scientific
experiment, but the movie was not a scholarly documentary. Tim
opened up and answered all questions posed by several very
intelligent persons,  and one can read it all on the website owned
by Jonathan Janson, who himself is a professional artist.  Google
the name 'essentialvermeer',
then,  click on BLOG, then scroll to the topic: "Tim's Vermeer, from
a painters point of view". Scroll down to September, when Tim
begins. You will enjoy the dialogue.
It provides the artistic technical parts, missing from the movie. Tim
is a gentleman.

CONCLUSION OF THE BLOG COMMENTS
Tim answered all questions and gave honest explanations. I am
grateful to Tim that he did clear up missing information. Even after
many comments, I am of the opinion that there is still much more
missing or hidden. The dialogue on the Blog continued for two
months. It now appears to be coming to a close.

In November, 2014, one of the interested by name of " W Wick" ,
posted words and images that in my view are the most important
bits of evidence. In my professional opinion, they answer the core
question : Whether Vermeer did or did not , use anything similar to
Tim's mirror device as a tool in painting his paintings.

It was through W WICK's efforts, that allowed us to compare, side
by side,  the masterpiece by Vermeer with the copy painting by
Tim. This allows us to see the big differences on why Vermeer's
painting is a creative masterpiece and why Tim's is not.

COMPARING A MASTERPIECE WITH A COPY
The evidence W WICK posted, is four images for comparison. 2 in
color and 2 in grayscale. The gray scale and color scale
"comparison images" of the Music Lesson, demonstrated what I
have tried (and failed) to explain by using words alone. The power
of silent images to speak clearly, is here for all to see. In my view,
this is the strongest evidence that Vermeer did NOT use Tim's
comparator device. Not even for one moment!

The comparison images, show how Vermeer used " CREATIVE
coloring" in expressing his aesthetic views of reality.  
And, they show how Tim used " COPY coloring" to render reality as
a " snap shot" photographer would.

Tim's painting is a "still-photographic-like" copy painting, like seen
in any photograph. Unfortunately, many persons are mislead when
they see finely painted photographically accurate , copy of details
as a hallmark of fine art.
It certainly is not.

THE INIMITABLE BEAUTY OF AN ORIGINAL VERMEER
Vermeer's masterpiece is an unbelievably beautiful symphony of
delicate colors and values of light and shade harmonies and
spatial relationships. All of Vermeer's paintings, each and
everyone, is like a great composition by Beethoven, Mozart,
Shakespeare,  or any other great master artist.

It is only by comparing Tim's copy to the original Vermeer, that we
can " see" the differences between the two. The light value of
Vermeer's pale blue color of the chair is crucial...as is the
important spatial positioning. This gives Vermeer's painting
aesthetically controlled depth and space , while Tim's darker blue
chair melts with the figures and creates an unaesthetic flatness of
the space.

See also Vermeer's delicate values of color in the shaded area of
the rug, with its spatially important, lively reflected light. The same
area in Tim's rug is flat and dead colored. Tim's painting when
seen in comparison to Vermeer's is lacking in the beautiful spatial
divisions, and harmony of colors and tones seen in the Vermeer.
WWICK's written description better expresses Vermeer's aesthetic
color harmonies of objects, and their aesthetic relationships to
each other . I believe W WICKS studies, observations and
comments will be of service to those who really want to know the
truth about the core question in the movie. I take this opportunity to
thank W WICK. I have tried to post my gratitude on the
essentialvermeer Blog, but in recent days, my letters gave been
rejected.

Thank you, Louis , November 10, 2014
Please see my YOUTUBE video titled:
TIMS VERMEER, WHY THE MOVIE
FAILED

There you will see the explanation for
the CAMARA OBSCURA you see to
the right

TO SEE MY OTHER
youtube videos, type in
CSO VELASQUEZ
TIM'CARICATURE
In November 2014 I painted a caricature of Tim Jenison, the man
who is featured in the movie, “Tim’s Vermeer”. I recommend you
see the movie- but take notes!!
When I saw the movie I saw its claims as being very misleading.
The claim was that Tim ‘discovered” a method of copying nature
that he believes may have been used by Vermeer.
In my opinion as a professional artist and art teacher, I took Tim to
task.

The movie was officially released within Hollywood in November
2013. It then was released to the general public in January 2014.
Finally in June 2014, it was made available on DVD. I saw the
movie at the theaters in Jan and I bought the video in June. I
studied it frame by frame on my ipad. NOW..I had the evidence I
needed to confront Tim. But I had no way to reach him personally.

Finally, Tim joined a Blog and answered all questions posed to him.
You can read his answers on that website” www.essentialvermerr.
com
Once on the site—click on BLOG. Then once there click on TIMS
VERMEER..A PAINTERS POINT OF VIEW. Scroll down until you
see Tim’s entry in the discussion. You will enjoy the comments.
Finally, on November 14, 2014- the blog ended.

I got to meet Tim there on the BLOG. He is a fine family man .I
respect his efforts to express his ideas. I conclude that Vermeer
did NOT use the idea Tim had. At the very conclusion of the
BLOG, you can read the posting by W WICK. It is eloquent and is
the final proof that Tim’s method was not used.

During the several months I participated on the BLOG, I began a
caricature of Tim. Tim replied that he loved it. Then, I finished it
and sent it tyo him. Here is the report describing the content in the
caricature painting.

CONTENTS OF THE CARICATURE I MADE OF TIM
This letter explains that Tim's caricature was made to show
Vermeer's method of painting.
THE first goal was to demonstrate what Vermeer did while inside
the Camara Obscura ( CO). Which was simply: To paint a brown
monotone.
It is impossible to paint with colors in the CO. Surely Vermeer knew
this and never wasted his time even trying to paint with colors nor
even a grisaille in the CO.

THE brown monotone was merely a sketchy foundational step. A
rudimentary step that would evolve over time as the coloring and
development was being expanded. Please compare my initial
monotone to my finished painting to see its evolution.

Vermeer, like all creative artists, would stop to think, evaluate and
make decisions and changes to his previous decisions, as he
evolved the painting during its creative construction. The many
changes, some minute, others larger, would be made endlessly
until the painting was finished to his satisfaction. "Finishing" is
dependent on the aim of the artist, and can be done rapidly in one
day...or can take many weeks, months, or years.

The painting procedures of the Old Masters, has five basic steps.
(1)Prepare  (2) Draw( or paint) the monotone (3) Underpaint (4)
Overpaint (5) Finish.
" Finishing" is the most difficult. It requires endless editing.
The finishing stage is where the artist creates the final vision of the
painting from its original birth idea.

THE CARICATURE PAINTING

1. It represents Tim the Magician pulling Tim the Scientist out of a
bowl. In my opinion the movie "Tim's Vermeer", is one very long
magic act. Famed Magician Teller did the editing and left out
important painting steps as part of his " magic" act in order to
create mystery. He did a good job of hiding facts, and left people
wondering, like all good magicians do with their magic acts.
In my painting, Tim is the magician because I believe Tim was
aware of Teller's magic editing tricks. Tim obviously saw the runs
and final clip before release.  As Tim said, the decision was made
to create an 'entertaining' movie. Entertaining movies and
caricatures bring joy to the world. We can laugh at ourselves and
not take ourselves too seriously . Vermeer himself, painted his own
self- portrait caricature in The Procuress, goofily smiling, while
inside a brothel.

2. One sees the curvature of vertical and horizontal lines in my
painting. They are a comment about how Vermeer's crude lenses -
as Steadman tells us in his book- do distort straight lines and are
seen to either frown, smile or barrel . These repeat the obvious
fact that Vermeer had to correct those issues as he developed his
paintings towards completion. This explains his use of a pin and
snap chalk lines that were needed to straighten out the distorted
perspective lines.

3. The black to white value scale in five values seen in the
background speaks for itself. It is the time honored way - from
before Theophilus' well documented treatise of the 1100's - to
teach young artists that visual reality as humans see it, is made up
of value changes, and, that they could use a dry and a wet value
scale as a painting tool guide. Also, every art medium, be it oils,
temperas,  watercolors, chalks, inks etc...have two exterior value
borders. One is dark, the other is light.  Tim, a video artist,calls this
" dynamic range", but certainly, neither Vermeer, nor Rembrandt,
nor Michelangelo, ever knew nor used that term , ‘Dynamic”. Even
kids in kindergarten intuitively understand the OBVIOUS, that their
crayons and tempera paints have colors, plus black and white, and
that BLACK cannot get any darker and white cannot get any
lighter. They do not need computer experts nor scientists to
explain F stops.

4. The two diamond ( floor tile) shapes seen above in the
background, show what all artists intuitively know. Values appear
different depending on what they are surrounded with. In this case
I used the mid value gray, to paint the diamond shapes in the area
of the pure white, and in the pure black area. This can be called, "
tricking the retina", or " an optical illusion". Good art teachers
teach this to their students. One very misleading argument in the
movie that was " inaccurately supported" by the un-contested
opinion of the eye doctor, and also by Tim , both who tried (but
failed)  to convince critical thinkers , that the human retina cannot
distinguish value changes on a white wall enough to intuitively
reproduce them.  

5. On the left front, one sees three rectangles that show how
Vermeer used color and values to create a sense of depth. One is
yellow, one is a very pale blue and one is pure white. These refer
to the similar spatial arrangement by Vermeer in the Music Lesson
where he strategically placed these three colors to create an
aesthetic illusion of depth. These are in the virginal, the pale blue
chair and the white jug.

6. The yellow rectangle represents the virginal. Vermeer had no
electricity and to overcome the handicap of Holland's dim studio
light, he had to bounce sunlight into his studio by any arrangement
of one or more portable flat mirrors.  Here one sees how the
virginal's design, that is barely visible in the darkened studio
lighting, has been brightly illuminated by a bounced beam of sun
light. This bright illumination, allowed the projected image to be
clearly seen--- and easily traced--- by Vermeer while inside the
Camara Obscura. Desired color glazes are added later outside the
CO if needed or desired.

7. The highlighted bright yellow circle on the yellow rectangle ,
besides showing illumination, is also a comment about how a
simple FOCUS LENS, placed in front of the stationary lens of the
CO can be used to  sharpen the  image just as a telescope or
microscope do. Both instruments with focusing ability, were known
to Vermeer. This high definition allowed Vermeer to see and to
trace the very fine details as seen on the virginal while he was in
the CO.

8. The pale thin blue or white line on the left edge of Tim's head
and left torso is a comment about " optical aberration". Although
aberrations may be seen in optics, optics are not needed for
aberrations to be seen by the naked eye. I easily see them myself
in my daily surroundings, at the juncture where the contour of a
dark form meets a brightly lit area that is behind it. The existence
of this pure white or pale blue line seen in SOME of Vermeer's
paintings is not proof that he used optics. Note that it was his
choice to use , as they are not seen in ALL of Vermeer's paintings.
My two good eyes also easily see double and triple shadows that
are cast by objects in sunlight.

9. Like Vermeer, I used a canvas with a visible weave, not a flat
piece of wood as Tim did. It is easy to draw with a pencil on flat
wood and not so easy to draw with pencil on canvas. Vermeer did
not draw lines with a pencil, and neither did I. All of my guide lines
were painted with paint. Like with Vermeer, X-rays will not find any
pencil, chalk or any type of lines under my paint layers.

10. The only one ( and it is the only one )aspect of Tim's mirror
device that impressed me was its ability to TRACE fine details that
are seen on the virginal and the carpet.  I proved here there are
other ways to trace, as one can see on the yellow rectangle.
Besides use of a CO, the use of a Camara Lucida also allows
minute tracings to be made and at various sizes. Steadman's book
also describes how the CO was used in the 18th and 19th
centuries to not only enlarge images, but to also reduce images for
tracings.

11. Steadman's book describes how the correct geometric scaled
furniture fit ALL the other reconstructed rooms, but they did NOT
fit in the Music Lesson, as they were too large. The same scaled
furnishings , used in the other 5 reconstructions were too large for
the reconstructed Music Lesson room. This is evidence of Vermeer
moving his "lens" forward and backward to different positions and
that he was in fact COLLAGING unrelated images. The objects in
my painting are all unrelated and are in fact a collage of imagined
and separate images of different sizes, placed together to form a
balanced composition.

CONCLUSION
My purpose for posting the caricature was
(1) to demonstrate how Vermeer used the CO. The initial
monotone served ONLY a very limited purpose as the foundation
for the subsequent creative decisions. Also, the artist can
repeatedly return the painting back into the CO to trace additional
fine lines, such as the seahorse design on the dried painting of the
virginal.
(2) to demonstrate that content ideas ... evolve over time as an
artist is slowly thinking, pondering, choosing and making changes
in " finishing". A painting is "finished" by painting in studio lighting,
and without being in a rush or having to meet a deadline.

I hope you enjoy the Vermeer related lessons the caricature
represents as to how I believe Vermeer approached his painting
procedures. I believe it is clear when comparing Vermeer's painting
alongside Tim's copy ( as W WICK demonstrated) - that Vermeer
did not use Tim's mirror device because he had NO NEED of it to
create his paintings.
Tim's SOLE GOAL was to copy what he saw in the mirror like a
photo snapshot without any regard for creativity.
Vermeer's SOLE GOAL was to create a personal vision of an
extraordinary symphony of colors and values by the artist's license
of selection, deletion and modification of reality seen.
Sincerely,
Louis R. Velasquez
December 8, 2014 posted on my website
STEP ONE WAS THE UNDERPAINTING

I used a cheap cotton canvas panel
I sealed it with two coats of [fresh-not from a
can] non fat liquid milk [ canned milk has non
drying palm oil and sugars]



i mixed non fat milk with dry pigments. the paint
layers dry instantly- its basically a casein
tempera.
i applied a layer [ imprimatura] of ochre
i mixed two values a black and a brown to paint
the image..this gives me three values. ochre,
black and brown [ in reality=the ochre is yellow,
the black is blue and the brown is red]
these are the three primary colors albeit in
muted form.

i then sealed the surface with sunn oil , superior
oil of the old masters as described in my book. i
let this dry- then began the painting.
PAINTING THE COLORS ON
THE MONOTONE IS THE NEXT
STEP.

Sometimes a GRISAILLE can
be painted on top of the
Monotone..in this case...I went
straight for the colors.

This stage takes time. I worked
on the painting off and on for
about 4 weeks.

The CONTENT of the painting
progressed slowly over time.
Ideas come when they want to
come. EXAMPLE: At first the 5
Values in the background were
all in vertrical straight areas.
THen, I made them curve to
mimic what the CAMARA
OBSCURA lens does to
straight lines.

I sent the original to Mr. Tim
Jenison..He and I had good
exchanges of information these
past few months of 2014.. He is
a good man, a gentleman. I
admire his efforts, but do not
agree with him..

DIEGO VELAZQUEZ
1599-1661
information posted 6-28-2009]

I receive lots of mail from artists around the world ...
who are passionate about Velazquez' paintings.
I know why too. Ive seen the original Velazquez paintings in most major museums, but in Madrid Spain, at the Prado museum,you get
to see the finest of the finest. My book is based on Rembrandt's and Velazquez' methods and materials. Poor Jacques Maroger, he
guessed that the ' translucent material ' he saw in Velazquez' paintings was WAX. He said the same about Rembrandts paintings.
Maroger was never so wrong as with these two grossly inaccurate guesses. What we learned from science , published since 1988, is
that both of these great masters added calcium carbonate to their oil paint. This wonderful natural inert colorless material is 98%
translucent in oil...causing Maroger to think it was wax. Velazquez and Rembrandt added this calcium carbonate for several reasons,
not only to create lifelike translucent paint. My book goes into great detail on this topic, and also includes a ten page essay on
Maroger's failure.

RECENTLY....i began a specific study that led me down a unique path. This study opened up a new awareness of Velazquez' working
method. Recent studies of Caravaggios work shows a similar use of this method. In brief, it involves the use of scoring into the wet
monotone and the grisaille. We all know Rembrandt scored his paint, clearly leaving the scratches/ drawing/ incisions in the wet paint
to add texture and to create a light colored line in the final effect.

JUST LAST year I was in Madrid. I studied the great paintings...as I have done many times before.....there in the Prado Museum....yet I
WILL ADMIT...I did not see what I will here post.
ONE PHOTO shows the hoof of a horse, and after 300 years the oil paint is now more translucent, and modern photography allows
filtering. The underdrawing scratches Velazquez made into the wet monotone and / or grisaille, are clearly visible. They served him
well because Velazquez did not underdraw with charcoal, nor pencil nor ink. Velazquez was counseled by Rubens in 1628 to switch to
light colored grounds.
On this ground, Velazquez painted his monotone with a dark colored paint. Into this drawing/painting of the design composition, he
accentuated  the image by scoring into the wet paint.

WHEN THIS WAS DRY he overpainted with his colors. The overpainting layers obliterated the scoring--that are now visible. Velazquez
also, like Rembrandt  left some of the light colored scoring lines visible as they added that 'halo' to dark forms.
THE PHOTO OF THE HORSE'S HOOF shows these scoring incision drawing lines well

NEXT IS A PHOTO of a test I made of this technique.
On your left is the brown monotone on a mid tone base color. A light thin gray colored  grisaille is also painted onto the wet monotone.
The scratches help define the image.
ON THE RIGHT is the dried grisaille , over painted with colors. On purpose, I left many of the incision marking visible..though they were
easily covered if I had wanted.


THE NEXT PHOTOS shows a very simplified approach to using this technique. THE reason I was making this study was to teach
kids how to oil paint in a very simplified manner. During the study, is when I happened to use the scratching method independent of
Velazquez, and then saw it in his work.
THIS STUDY starts with a pencil drawing --something Velazquez did not do. BUT for young students, the pencil drawing gives them
assurance as they paint. Its a blue print.
THE first PHOTO is only at the grisaille stage.
THE next PHOTO shows the details of the scratching.
THE next PHOTO shows the finished LESSON PLAN for the students to follow.
LAST PHOTO is a detail.
The FINISHING STAGE can really last for as long as the artist wants to work on the painting.
I still need to apply some glazes and fine details, and color corrections.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE
CARICATURE PAINTING I MADE
OF TIM JENISON , the man in
the movie TIM'S VERMEER.

I gifted Tim the original painting.
The caricature was made with
respect and in friendship.
Tim wrote to me to tell me he
liked the painting.

I do not believe Vermeer painted
with Tims "COMPARATOR
MIRROR". Here below I give my
reasons.
END OF PAGE
ALL TEXT AND PHOTOS ARE
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED
BY LOUIS R. VELASQUEZ