Inspiration for The Shawl

When I first saw the Maiden in Contemplation online I was really taken by its softness and stillness. I did not know anything about the artist, Gaston la Touche (1854 – 1913) and must admit I still don’t. Sometimes I don’t feel the need to dive into research. Sometimes a picture is more than enough. ​


The Shawl, oil on linen, 48×24”, 2014


The Blonde Lace shawl used for my painting.

Gaston la Touché, Maiden in contemplation, 1893

And often enough I paint my own paintings without much thought for the concept. I just follow my gut and head for beauty and my mind is only taken up with aesthetic considerations such as colour and composition. In this case I stayed obviously close to my inspirational source for the design. I used a Spanish Blonde lace, a continuous silk lace very popular in the early 19th century. For my painting I wanted to focus all attention on the material, the transparency and the shine. I therefore left the girl’s face and hat a bit underworked. It contrasts with the high detail of the lace shawl. I left the girl’s arm and short blue sleeve of her tshirt, slightly visible nder the lace to highlight the thin nature of the fabric. I tried to maintain the beautiful stillness of the La Touche piece into my own painting. It is a large painting, at 48×24”.


Detail of the The Shawl

25 Oil Painting Tips

Improve your painting with this free ebook!
Join the mailing list and get regular blog roundups and all the latest from Sophie’s studio.

Your email will never be used for spam and you can unsubscribe at any time. See also my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top