Thursday, November 6, 2014

Painting Reflections, Finished

A month ago I did a demonstration on painting reflections for a class I was teaching and then posted the beginnings of it here:

Yesterday I finally took the time to finish the piece.  Here are the rest of the steps for this painting.

  Instead of mixing orange for the fruit on my palette, I wet their shapes and dropped yellow into them, followed by alizarin crimson and let them blend on the paper.  It took two layers to get the colors as intense as I wanted.  The values of the reflections in the pitcher area are just right for a light background at this point, but I knew after the dark background was added, they would need adjusting. 

The background is a mixture of sepia and pthalo blue.  My camera picked it up as streaky, but in life, it laid down fairly smoothly.  You can see now that the pitcher area will need beefed up a bit to handle the dark background when you compare this picture with the one above it.

Although the objects I started with were set up in a white cardboard box so that I could control the reflections and light source, I wanted them to look like they're on a wooden table top.  Here I added more yellow ochre and started to look at how I wanted the reflections in the table to go.  Before shadows are added under objects in most paintings, they appear to be floating.  Once the shadows are in, they'll set right down and appear to be on a  surface.

Mixing sepia and more yellow ochre, I painted a streaky layer, starting paler at the back of that area and going slightly darker as I moved down the paper.  Adding more sepia to the mixture, I splayed out a brush with my finger and added the wood grain onto the dry paper.  To finish the piece, I darkened the reflections in the handle shape, and the two sides of the pitcher area, put shadows under the fruit and made reflections on the table top.   

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