Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Painting Lesson--Yellow Cup (part 2)

In the first part of this painting lesson, I showed you how to get started by chosing a simple subject. In my case, I have a Canon A510 portable photo printer that I brought with me on this trip, so I printed a copy of each of the photos of the yellow cup (one in color and one in B&W) for reference while painting and taped these to my easel.

To get started I start by mixing a monochrome color. My favorite is a mixture of sap green and cadmium red. It makes a nice dark which can be easily modified with white (for a lighter tone) or ultramarine blue (to go darker). Here is a shot of my palette before I start.

I started by drawing with a small brush the basic shapes of the cup and the foreground, and then darkening the foreground (shelf) to make sure it was the darkest tone. I had to add a small bit of ultramarine blue to ge the foreground to be the a dark enough in tone--relative to the cup. I could have simply lighted the cup, but I liked how dark the shelf was--and wanted to keep it that way in the final painting.
At this stage, if I get something too dark or what to correct the drawing, I like to use paper towels slightly dampened or q-tips to wipe back the paint and get back to the panel based color (white). You can never wipe away all the paint--as it tends to stain the gesso, but it allows you to continue to correct the drawing. In some cases, if I think the painting needs to be started again, I simply wipe the whole thing off and start again. I am only planning at this point to spend 10-15 mins on this stage of the painting--so I will not have lost much if I have to start again. I primarily use paper towels to correct the drawing and tones, but as you will see from the below shot, I also use my share of q-tips.
After working the monochromatic underpainting for around 15 mins, I felt I had reached a stage where I had nailed the tones down pretty well and was ready to start adding in the color. You will see it looks rather blueish (cool in color). This was due to the fact that I starting adding in ultramarine blue into the mixture. If you leave it out, you will get a much warmer underpainting.

And here is the original photo I was working from. You will see that I am a bit darker on the cup than the photo, but some of that is due to the camera--which tends to darken all tones. That is why I would not recommend you entirely paint from photographs until you have been able to paint from observation. This is especially true when painting outdoors.

Well, that's it for today, I will show you how to finish off this painting tomorrow. All the best, sixtyminuteartist.

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