Here’s my first attempt at painting the terra cotta pot and stones. My goal was to show the very basic colors and shapes without trying to be too precise. I’ve left the dark areas lighter, so that I can come back and glaze over them. Shadows will always look more transparent and luminous when achieved by painting a darker glaze over a lighter base and not by mixing the dark color and applying it as an opaque layer. The design on the terra cotta pot is very vague at this point. Its such a complicated design, that it was hard for me to see the details. As I explained in my last post, the details will become easier to see and paint with each session, as I slowly make corrections. I try not to worry about things looking crude. Polish will come later!

Another reason I like to paint in layers over many sessions is that it often can be difficult to work with wet paint. New brushstrokes can pick up the paint underneath and adjacent areas can smear into one another. I find it best to put down a layer of paint and let it dry for a few days. At my next session I can put down my new brushstrokes cleanly on the dried base.


At my next session, I started to indicate the texture and irregular color on the terra cotta pot. I soften the top edge to show that it’s actually a rounded form. Also, the light hitting it seems to shine out into the dark area behind, blurring it.  I begin to paint the patterned area in more detail, showing the shapes more clearly. I can now observe some of the highlights on the raised areas. I paint the patterned area on the right, and glaze the inside of the pot a shade darker. I also glaze some cast shadows from the stones onto the black cloth.


At my next session, I’ve added more dark glazes to the pot. I also added some texture and splotches of color to the pot in the shadow areas. Details will always be more vague in shadow areas, but it’s important to suggest them lightly, or the shadows won’t look convincing. I’ve glazed the darker areas of both the green and black cloth, and painted the stones more accurately. I painted the fringe on the green cloth and more details on the yellow crystal.