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How to Draw The Mona Lisa

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Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa - also know as 'La Giocanda'... is one of - if not THE - most famous works of art on the planet. Painted in the Italian Renaissance period, during the early 16th Century - it is believed to have taken da Vinci almost 16 years to complete!

Here in this lesson, I've put together some steps to help you brainstorm and create a unique homage to this wonderful painting - of your own!

To the canvas!

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First Step - A Study of Shapes which Compose the Mona Lisa

Just like how you might plan out a real oil painting - with a grid, shapes, lines, etc... BEFORE you actually lay down the paint... here we're doing something similar. These lines and shapes should help to give you a better understanding of how the various parts of the painting come together.

The first phase then, beginning with a picture frame...

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While this looks rather strange at first - this arrangement of shapes and lines can really help to cement the form that your pen/pencil strokes should be working around. Notice how the green circle marks off here face - turned slightly to HER right.

Also, notice the positioning of her right hand - just adjacent to the centerline. And the orange arc... marking off - to some degree - where her hair can be drawn.

Really - you can use a pattern of your own if you like. Whichever works best for you!



Second Step - How to Draw The Mona Lisa

Beginning with her face, use these steps to guide you - as you slowly move forward, bringing into view a drawing (painting!) of your own.

Keep in mind - this is a simple cartoon representation. It's by no means an 'extremely close' likeness to the real thing. It does however depict those parts of the painting (most of them anyway) - that makes it easy to recognize as such.

Oh - one more thing. I added eyebrows in my version - but in the real version, there aren't any. In the final colored images, I made sure to leave them out.

Let's begin!

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When all is said and drawn - the final product - colored and all... really makes it all worth the while. You'll notice I added some color variations that don't exactly show up in the real thing. The water in behind for example... not really sure it this is water - but I thought it would look neat.

All and all - a cartoon likeness to the real thing!

I hope you enjoyed the lesson. :-)

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