Virgin and Child, Grannacci, copied at the Metropolitian Museum of Art

I use traditional, time tested materials, substituting modern materials when it is necessary or better (for example, the pigment ivory black is no longer made from burned ivory, and, perhaps more mercifully for both cow and artist, Indian yellow is no longer made from the urine of mango leaf fed cows. I won’t even go into the pigment ‘mummy’). For flesh tones, I employ verdaccio, a green underpainting, – to get the cool undertones found in fair skin.