Mona Lisa: Driftwood series- a painting in progress 1

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:40:02 AM


I thought it might be interesting to see the creation of one of my paintings from the early stages to completion. I've got two new paintings scheduled, the "Mona Lisa" and "Salty Dog."

I started the "Mona Lisa" yesterday. Here is the intital rough:

The camera angle isn't straight but you get the idea. The whole idea is basically crazy: There's a piece of driftwood that looks like the Mona Lisa...right. In order to do my version I needed to look how Leonardo (one of my art heros) did his version.

First, Leonardo's painting was cut down in size- how much no one knows. The original painting had "loggia" which are columns on each side that bordered the portrait. I believe the columns formed an arch over Mona Lisa's head so I included that. I also included more of the bottom. She sitting in a chair, only the arm of the chair and the front left leg can be seen.

By extending the columns there is slightly more background on each side. On the left background there is a road that winds back to a lake. On the right there is a bridge that crosses one branch of a creek that flows into the lake.

At this point I've painted the sky, the foreground, Mona Lisa, and roughed in the dress/robe and hands. There's a thin veil over the top of the head and hair which I've left off. I'm not sure of how many details are important. Here's the driftwood that inspired the idea:

The Mona Lisa: Her smile is enigmatic!

The above shot of a close-up of a weathered tree trunk inspired my Mona Lisa, the amount of destruction of the original I haven't decided. Here's a shot of my Mona Lisa in progress on my painting table- it's just our dining table with a clutter of papers and paint supplies.


I'll do another blog after the initial underpainting is done. My apologies Leonardo!


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