How to Paint the Mona Lisa with Adebanji Alade on Channel 4 this week!

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How to Paint the Mona Lisa with Adebanji Alade on Channel 4 this week!

Join Adebanji and unlock the secrets of the Mona Lisa as he creates his very own replica.


Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? What makes it so special? In How To Paint The Mona Lisa, (9pm on Channel 4 on Wedensday September 29), artist Adebanji Alade, unlocks the secrets of the world’s most iconic painting whilst creating a gallery-worthy replica

As artist, teacher, regular contributor to The Artist, judge in our TALP Open art competitions and Vice President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Adebanji is an experienced practitioner. But in order to stay true to Leonardo’s original methods he’ll have to use techniques radically different to what he’s used to: painting onto a wooden panel rather than canvas, mixing his own paints and building up colour in painstakingly thin layers.

Adebanji is enlisting the help of artists and conservationists who are keeping these 500-year-old traditional ways of working alive. People like paint specialist, Lucy Mayes, who handmakes pigments using many of the same ingredients and methods as they used in Renaissance Italy. While historian, Martin Kemp, reveals the story behind the sitter and why Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is a true masterpiece.


But what will all the experts make of Adebanji’s finished piece? After weeks of hard work, Adebanji nervously unveils his version of the Mona Lisa at a gallery in central London.

Watch How to Paint the Mona Lisa with Adebanji on Channel 4 at 9pm on September 29, 2021.


Fantastic, I learned much about two artists here, being a bit of a novice. The sfumato was interesting, I want to try it myself. I think if able, mixing your own oil paints traditionally would be such a treat to do and I would use this method all the time if I could. Such enthusiasm was brought by the artist it was a joy to watch. I appreciate that the artist chose the palette that was close to the original and not that, that was aged by varnish, taking us back to how it may have looked, fresh, on the day it was painted, long ago. Hope there is another program forthcoming.

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