Sunday Times art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, presents an exciting vodcast on the Velazquez exhibition at the National Gallery in London (2006)
Exploring Las Meninas
Las Meninas (also known as The Maids of Honour), painted in 1656, is a work by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. It is one of the most famous paintings in the world, and is in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Luca Giordano said of Las Meninas that it was, itself, the "theology of painting"; Sir Thomas Lawrence, that it incarnates the philosophy of art.
I am always facinated to find out what techniques the Old Masters used and how the they have built up the paint layers. Here Velasquez has toned the canvas with a color similar to Raw Umber and it looks like he wiped out his light and applied pure Raw Umber for his darks.