The underpainting is finished. The parts that I painted first are now dry enough that I can paint over them.
I began with the wall. I painted very loosely with lots of brushstrokes left showing to simulate the rough look of the rice paper. I wasn’t sure how to proceed with the shadow on the wall. I could have painted the whole wall white, waited for it to dry, and then glazed the shadow over it. I like that method because it mimics the look of a shadow cast on a surface very convincingly, as the color and texture of the wall show through the glaze. It can be hard to control the quality of the edges of this kind of glaze, though. Also, using this method, I would loose the drawing of the shadow underneath and would have to re-see and redraw it in paint with nothing to guide me as I was applying the glaze. For that reason, and because I wanted very soft, diffused edges, I decided to paint in the shadow wet-in-wet from the start. I painted it much lighter than it will eventually be. That way, I can apply glazes over it to darken it and get most of the nice effects of a glazed shadow. I’ll have the painted edges to guide me in applying this glaze. Also, since the soft edges of the shadows will already be in place, I can glaze just inside them and feather them out.
Above, I’ve painted some areas of the green bowl very roughly, just to get some local color down. It’s easier to judge how to proceed with a painting if the local colors of objects are indicated, so I like to cover the underpainting as soon as possible.
I painted the rest of the wall in shadow in the same color as the shadow of the basket. Some of the underpainting shows through this layer. I like that, as it will show through the final glazing a bit to add vibrancy to the shadow.
The wall on the left is shiny and reflects quite a lot of light from the rest of the set-up. I thought it’d look good to paint it darker than it appears, then after it’s dry, to scumble a light tone over it. A scumble is a scrubbed-in wash of thick, undiluted light-colored paint over a darker area. It is applied very thinly, so that the dark shows through. This can create a nice pearly effect that I thought would capture the look of the shiny wall. We’ll see! If it doesn’t work, I can always paint over it!