Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665

Get up to speed with portrait painting as we interpret Vermeer's iconic portrait.

Learn to paint Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring at Inglis Academy
The eyes are the windows to the soul!
From a sketch painting by Naomi.

We will also gain an understanding of what constitutes beauty.

Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring

This painting will take you two sessions to complete.

Teaching aids

I create teaching aids specific to each session. Here are some that we use for this painting.

Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
Laminated charts.
Tone | Original image | Colour analysis and matching reference.

Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
Reference painting by myself.
A painting is different to an image on a screen and different again to a printed image. A good reference painting lets you see the brush strokes, texture and colour more accurately.

Session 1

  1. Understand the painting via a series of sketches.
    Learn to paint Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring at Inglis Academy   Learn to paint Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring at Inglis Academy   Learn to paint Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring at Inglis Academy   Learn to paint Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring at Inglis Academy
  2. Complete a sketch painting.
    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
  3. Add dark, mid and light tones.
  4. Mix the colours
  5. Block in the colours
  6. Session 2

    Books a second session as a Tweak your painting like a master!.

    1. Colour transitions
    2. Detail
    3. Texture, including stippling

    Larger images

    Here are larger versions of the examples given above.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Reference painting by Peter Inglis.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Sketch painting.

    We start with a few quick sketches to enable us to see the structure of the face.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Negative space helps us place the portrait on the canvas.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Learning how to rotate a cube in space helps us find the postion of the eyes, nose and mouth.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Perspective: finding the vanishing point.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665
    Looking for the many nested curves.

    One of my artistic passions is to learn the style of a master painter, and then create more works in that style.

    This is one way that Western Culture is kept alive and relevant. My Vermeer and your Vermeer will be different to Vermeer's Vermeer.

    The intent is not to copy, but rather to recreate the works, to work in the spirit of the original.

    Student paintings

    Loretta produced a great Vermeer in just one lesson. (Loretta's Vermeer). That is unusually fast. Most people will take two sessions.

    Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665 - a student painting at Inglis Academy Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665 - a student painting at Inglis Academy

    Resources

    vermeer-girl-pearl
    My book on Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring. Explains some of the style and technique of this master painter and shows a step by step method for this painting.

    Scarlett Johansson as  'Girl with the Pearl Earring;.
    In 2003 Scarlett Johansson starred in a movie about the painting,

    Video

    What will we learn in this painting?

    • Aesthetics
    • Beauty
    • Blending
    • Filbert brush
    • Glazing
    • Hard and soft edges
    • Liner brush
    • Perspective
    • Portrait Painting
    • Skin tones
    • Stippling

    Paint Vermeer: 'Girl with the Pearl Earring'.