Woman in Blue Reading her Phone

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Layer One

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Layer Two

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For this painting I was inspired by Vermeer’s paintings of people reading letters. I thought a modern take of this would be someone reading something on their mobile phone. I tried giving some indication of what she is looking at by giving her body a tense pose with shoulders raised and by having the background curtains painted in dull yellow, which according to my googling is symbolic of jealousy. Green is a more obvious symbol of jealousy so I painted the phone itself that colour. I also tried painting the other part of the curtain green but I happen to be green colourblind (tested at the opticians and probably explains why I find landscapes so boring) and my mum told me its actually more of a blue…

This painting was difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s the biggest canvas I’ve painted on (50x40cm/20×16″), secondly because I want to enter this into a competition I had to consider copyright so the lady is based on a copyright-free nude image, the dress is an amalgamation of different dresses and a bit of imagination, and the curtains are from my house. Thirdly, I messed up the medium I was using and it dried mostly matte so I had to go over nearly all of it with painting medium to give it a gloss finish.

I tried a different style with this painting. Normally I try to render and blend things very subtly but this time I tried to go for an alla-prima look with bold brush strokes.


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