My Journey to Recreate the Iconic Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda as it is known in its native tongue, is a masterpiece of portraiture by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. A work of inimitable fame, it was crafted in the years 1503 and 1517.

In an effort to understand how Leonardo and his contemporaries would have beheld the Mona Lisa, I undertook the speculative and subjective task of reconstructing it.

However, the varnish and oil paints at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where the artwork resides, have significantly darkened and yellowed over time, causing the once vibrant colors to fade. Thus, the Mona Lisa is not seen in all its original splendor.

Stage 1

This is part one of a video series on how I painted the Mona Lisa using oils and glazes.

I have begun the first stage of the painting, using a semi-opaque brown paint and a mixture of black and brownish-red to create glazes for the subject’s hair and dress. I have outlined these features with a brownish-red hue and am now adding shadows to give depth to the composition.

In the next stage, I will continue to model the light and shadows with a monochrome palette, as these elements serve as the foundation and main components of the design. By carefully building upon these stones of the composition, I hope to create a cohesive and striking work of art.

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Stage 7

Stage 8

Stage 9

Stage 10

Stage 11 Finale Stage

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