My underpainting is dry, so i can finally begin to apply color. It always looks like a ghost of a painting at this stage.
I decided to tackle the bottle first. It’s always hard to begin. I reassured myself by remembering that it’s just the beginning, and that many more layers of paint will follow. The more paint that is down, the easier it will be to judge colors and shapes and to adjust. The important thing is to begin. Accuracy and beauty will come later. Below you can see that I started by painting only the basic shapes. On something complicated, like glass, it’s always hard at first, to see all of the complex shapes of the shadows and reflections. Having this rough version down will make it easier the next time I paint it. I’ll have landmarks to judge from, will be able to compare what I see in the set-up to the painting and make adjustments and corrections. Also, I will know the object better.
The blue vase, below, is in shadow. I like to glaze my shadows with a dark, transparent glaze to achieve a shadowy feel. I painted it in a lighter color than it will be, so after I glaze it, it will be the correct, darker value. It will also have light reflections cast onto it. These I will depict by painting some light valued paint into the dark glaze while it is still wet. By doing this, I can get soft, mysterious edges to the reflections.
Above you can see my first attempt at the necklace. This necklace has many fine chains and will be quite a challenge to paint. Here, I simply put in a shadowy base that will serve as a mid-tone between all of the many chains. I also roughed in some color on the sandstone.
Above, I’ve started on the basket. It was extremely frustrating to get the right color for the bamboo strips. No matter what color I mixed, it seemed wrong. Until I cover more of the canvas with paint, I won’t be able to judge colors correctly. I’ll go back many times to adjust the colors. Also, even though I tried so hard to preserve the drawing through this process of drawing, transferring, and underpainting, I still have unclear areas that I had to re-see and re-draw with paint. It’s a complicated basket!
I painted in the background, trying to get a smooth transition from a slightly lighter tone on the left, to a darker one on the right. I mixed three values of the yellowy beige, painted them in stripes, then blended. I also started to indicate the wood grain very lightly. I painted the shadow areas in a very light value, so that I can glaze over them with a dark glaze later, to achieve the correct dark, shadow tone. With layered painting, you have to plan ahead.