Vermeer’s Ground Preparation

Below is a video explaining Vermeer’s ground preparation for “A Girl with a Pearl Earring”. I am using historical colors to be more authentic which required researching Vermeer’s pigments, finding sources which manufactured them, then preparing the paint myself by mulling the raw pigment with oil, however I am using store bought brands for some of the colors. You can substitute the Bone Black with Ivory Black. The Yellow Ochre and Red Ochre used in the ground was purchased in ready-made form. It’s also important to note that I am using higher quality store bought brands such as Rembrandt, Old Holland and Charvin. This will be especially important for the upper layers of this painting which I’ll explain in future lessons.

Please watch the video below which demonstrates how I mixed and applied my ground. This step should be done well in advance to ensure sufficient drying time prior to starting the painting. I will post another video shortly on how to prepare the drawing which will be transferred onto the canvas once the ground has dried.

Good luck!

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