Bring a Vermeer art project to your classroom with a tutorial for how to draw The Girl with a Pearl Earring, one of his most famous paintings.
Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch artist known for his paintings of 17th-century daily life. Many of this most famous pieces were of ordinary women doing ordinary things, which was a radical idea back in those flamboyant Baroque times.
An observant and deliberate painter, Vermeer completed just 36 paintings in his life. What makes his Girl with a Pearl Earring so unique is her pose. She is not looking down, lost in a book or needlepoint. Instead, dressed in her colorful clothes against a dark and shallow space, she turns her head over her shoulder, meeting the viewer’s gaze with her eyes wide and lips parted as if about to speak. Her enigmatic expression coupled with the mystery of her identity has led some to compare her to the subject in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
This tutorial will not only help students appreciate the pose of Vermeer’s iconic painting, it will provide some good practice in drawing a face with a 3/4 view. It’s halfway between a front view and profile, and a very common pose found in portrait work.
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Girl with a Pearl Earring Coloring Page
Materials for How to Draw Girl with a Pearl Earring Drawing
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- Drawing Paper. Don’t substitute it with copy paper or construction paper. The surface will get fuzzy, erasing might cause holes, and the colors will generally not look as bright.
- Stabilo Markers. The large pack provides lots of fun color choices, several shades of each color, including a few choices for skin. The tips are perfect for coloring, and there’s even a promise that they will work after being uncapped for 8 weeks!
- Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase.
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tips. Stabilo Markers. They have the best colors, the best tips, and last the longest.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent markers are great for making a crisp outline to your drawing. Use them when you want your outline show up, but not be so heavy that it detracts from other things.
Step by step Directions for How to Draw Girl with a Pearl Earring Drawing
Draw the Girl with the Pearl Earring
- Draw the head and neck on the side.
- Add the scarf that wraps the head.
- Erase the head line inside, add collar.
- Draw the shoulders and back.
- Add the rest of the scarf.
- Erase the lines, add fabric fold lines.
- Draw the nose and mouth.
- Add eyes, and earring. Erase lines.
- Trace with a marker and color.