For my entry to the Epiphany Sacred Arts biennial art show this year, I am working on a copy of Raphael's Madonna and child or "the Conestabile Madonna". The work is about 8 inches by 9 3/4 inches, painted on prepared Masonite board. It has been gessoed with five coats and between each layer it was sanded with a fine sand paper.
The reason for picking this piece is that it is simple and I am very fond of almost any Madonnas done by Raphael. He has a nice softness to his skin tones and he treats the subjects with a lot of tenderness.
As you can see, I started off with a detailed sketch of the composition and I may do two or three other sketches with focusing on the little details like the hands, feet or a study of the arm position without the cloth.
When working on the oil painting itself, very thin layers of paint is used. The background is almost completed, and I have just put down the first thin coat of paint on the robes.
Stay tuned or come and see the completed work at our Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild Biennual Exhibition at St Jude’s Parish in September.