Now I’ve begun working on the shaded side of the basket. It’s very hard to see, so I turned on my overhead light. It doesn’t matter at this point if the overhead ruins the lighting effects. I just want to see enough to paint the basket correctly. I’ll eventually glaze over this area, darkening it and obscuring most of it. Only a few details will be visible through the gloom, but I do want to know that they’ll be in the right place. I had a teacher long ago who told me that you should never paint what you cannot see clearly from your easel, but I have found this not to be true. If you cannot see something clearly and understand its structure, you will most certainly make guesses and they will be wrong. Even quick, suggested touches in shadow should be based on reality.

It is usually true that in the finished work you should not show details that are not seen in the set-up. That would destroy the sense of reality. It is for this reason that I end up obscuring shadowed details with dark glazes or covering scumbles. Parts of them will be visible, though, just like what you see in real shadows, and they need to be in the right places.

Above, I’ve just about finished. I don’t have every tiny detail rendered, but that’s fine. The rest of my seeing and painting will happen when I start putting in color!