Inspired by Vermeer

And now that I had the honor of visiting that special exhibition of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer in Amsterdam last Monday, I got quite excited to try my own version of his work! Two of his famous paintings, in particular, came to mind: “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “The Milkmaid”. Perhaps a cliché as I am sure that many have been inspired by them, be it digitally in art or photography or painting. Nevertheless, the temptation was there create my own kawaii anime version of them featuring of course Little One!

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Unfortunately, this particular painting was not included as it was returned to the original museum in the Hague before we had the chance to see it. Never mind, we can always go and visit that soon. For that reason, this painting was the first that came to mind as I began doodling on my sketchbook. It was surprisingly not too difficult to draw this, although getting the eyes right was a bit of a challenge, as it’s about angle and eye contact. Normally, Little One’s face is a bit rounder too, but for the purpose of this painting, I had it elongated to match Vermeer’s original work. Yup still not mouth and nose. Otherwise she wouldn’t look like Little One anymore!

The Milkmaid

Another of Vermeer’s famous work is The Milkmaid of course. This was more difficult to draw as I am not accustomed to different hand positions. My characters typically have shorter limbs which made it awkward to illustrate holding the milk jug. Also when you look at the original art, you don’t see the milkmaid’s whole body, and the table is wider and waist height. My version is more like Little One is kneeling on the ground and pouring milk on a low table. Sort of traditional Japan haha!

When inspired by another artist, it is not about emulating them and reproducing their work, but it’s about recreating in your own original style and using your own imagination to produce something unique to you. These are just pencil sketches for now, but I may like to paint or color them in one day who knows! Perhaps I may start with importing them on Procreate and try digital painting in my own time. Or trace them on another paper and paint manually. Even both! Whatever the outcome, I’m definitely up for it so watch this space!

Click here for more about my experience at the Johannes Vermeer Exhibition

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