Below is a series of studies by Sorolla that show his emulation of Velazquez.
Sorollas work has a rougher somewhat bolder look, but the work of his Spanish predecessor guided him. Here are some things they have in common.
- A simplified palette of black, ocher and a red.
- A restraint of modeling in the lights. That is the lights are modeled softly and clearly and cleanly separated from the darks.
- The head in the middle of the Sorolla is very similar to the head at the far right in the upper painting by Velazquez. It is so similar that it seems obvious to me that Sorolla must have taken it for a model. Notice the handling of the zygoma. the upturned eyes and the slightly open mouth.
- The shared interest in the rough faces of men who are drawn from the working class and worn from work .
- The use of black throughout the painting and the strong contrasts throughout the pictures.
- Visible brushwork that boldly explains the form of the heads.
- An elegant restraint of color coupled with exuberant drawing and bold relief of the heads and the forms within them.
- A look of observation rather than idealization.
- Both are painted pretty much alla prima, that is rather than built up indirectly in glazes over a careful line drawing below.