I’m ready to begin painting the orange box in more detail. In the last session, I tried to glaze bright orange over the underpainting to get its rich, bright color, but I didn’t like the result. The transitions from light to dark weren’t smooth, and the color wasn’t saturated enough. Also, the box didn’t look solid. These defects illustrate some of the problems you can run into when using glazes.  Since a glaze is transparent, what is underneath shows through and needs to be well-painted. I hadn’t painted the light-to-dark transitions very smoothly in the underpainting, and this unevenness was showing through. Also, the cadmium orange glaze wasn’t the bright color I wanted (cadmium orange isn’t a transparent pigment). Most importantly, I thought that the box needed to look more solid, since it’s so brightly lit. Sometimes glazes can look insubstantial- a good thing in a shadow, but not in a brightly lit area. I needed to build up some solid paint for the box to look convincingly 3-dimensional.

Silver Bowl and Orange Box-box detail

I mixed up some color to match the orange in its brightest spot. In the set-up the box looked orange with a slightly alizarin hue, dulled down with orange’s opposite color, blue. When I put down the color on the canvas, though, it kept looking too dull. Finally, I used pure cadmium orange mixed with a little pure cadmium yellow. It looked perfect when I applied it to the canvas. If I brought my palette knife loaded with the mixture over to the actual bowl, however, it looked way too bright! How a color looks on the canvas is not necessarily an exact match to the actual object.

This bright orange on the left side has to transition over to the darker shadow side of the box. My first guesses at these transitional colors aren’t perfect. I’ll smooth them out at my next session when this paint layer has dried a bit.

I darkened the glaze on the lid, and indicated the brass buttons. I modified the color and value of the gold stripe on the lid. Since it’s reflective, it’s tricky to get right.  Even though its in the shadow, it glows.