My goal today is to cover as much of the underpainting as possible. As usual, I’m building up to detail slowly, so this first layer of the over-painting is still rather loose. With very subsequent layer of paint, I can see and compare more, fine-tuning values, colors, and details of texture and shape.
Above is my first attempt at the lamp. It was tricky to decide which colors to add to white to get the white of the lampshade. I ended up using a bit of raw umber, transparent golden ochre and cobalt blue in varying strengths. I think that as I progress, I’ll use both cool and warm tones juxtaposed. This causes a vibrating effect that can mimic the look of the lamp glowing. As you’re painting, it’s important to remember that even though some areas of the shade are darker than others, all are a very light value. When you squint your eyes and look at the painting, all of the light areas of the shade should appear quite similar. It’s normal when you’re studying an object to focus on differences and end up over-stating them. The more experience I have, the more I’m able to keep value differences slight.
I plan on painting the dark strip in the center of the lamp darker than it will ultimately appear. I’m doing this so that I’ll be able to scumble light tones over the dark to achieve the look of light glowing through the dark paper. It turned out not quite dark enough. I’ll cover it with a dark glaze when it’s dry, and scumble over that when it’s dry. I’ve found that these kinds of multiple payers add to the richness of the final result.
Above, I’ve very simply put in the tied bows, without any attempt yet to indicate highlights and shadows.
In the first layer of paint on the crate, I wanted to put in some of the textures of the wood. The bottom slat has concentric circular ridges. The upper slat has more typical wavy horizontal wood grain. I used my brush to indicate these textures. These will show through later layers and help me create the illusion of wood.
I’ve covered most of the canvas. Only the thin metal rods in the top of the lamp remain. I’ll put those in next session. If the other areas are dry, I’ll also begin to put in some dark shadow glazes.