The parts of my underpainting that I worked on first were dry, so I started to put down the first layers of local color. First, I put a green glaze over the yellow portions. This will serve as the lightest parts of the glass bowl and reflections on the wall. I’ll continue to add darker glazes for the darker parts when this layer is dry. Next, I tackled the blue box. It’s hard to judge values correctly at the beginning, since I have no basis for comparison. This is where my value study comes in handy. I can dab a bit of paint on it. It’s easy to see if the dab is too dark or too light. When it’s just right, it blends right in. To judge the color (and value, too), I make a tiny window with my fingers and thumb, with each hand. One, I use as a window to frame the area I’m studying in the set-up, the other, as a frame to view the equivalent area I painted on my canvas. Framed this way, and viewed simultaneously, it’s easy to compare for value and hue. Some areas I paint lighter than they’ll be, to allow for future glazes (such as the shadow sides of the stones and box, and the cast shadows on the box and tabletop.
I’m not super careful about edges and subtleties at this point. I’m just trying to cover the under-painting with the approximately correct local colors. Below, you can see I also put a quick layer of paint on the geode and fool’s gold.
Tomorrow, the rest of the canvas should be dry, and I’ll begin to work on the back wall with all of its complicated reflections. I’ll paint the shadow area lighter than it will be so that I can glaze over it. I like all of my shadows to be glazed. This gives them a luminosity and transparency that can’t be achieved with body color. I’ll also add another layer of glaze to the green glass bowl.