I painted the above painting with a dark background using a reference from wet canvas. Most everything was there for me with the dark background as the reference was against a dark background.
Next, I changed the still life to sit in a light background.
The above paintings were done following the exercise rules of: Paint the same still life twice. Paint one on a dark background and one on a light background.
I learned a ton! Even though I used a grid to draw both of these still lifes, note that they are not drawn exactly alike. But, they are both of similar style, probably same artist. It was easier to follow the shadow shapes and tones in the dark still life because it was all there for me in the reference photo. I didn’t know it as I was painting the dark one, but my brain was logging a lot of information I’d need for the light background painting.
Then I moved on to the light background painting. This one was intimidating, at first. I realized I was going to have to have those background colors reflecting into and through the clear glass. I knew I would have to use my light background colors in the lids of the shakers as well, in order to unify and balance the painting. I played with about six different colors on a scrap piece of paper until I came up with the blue, yellow and burnt orange combo. This was the most difficult of the two paintings. I enjoyed painting it, though, because I was able to decide colors and how to use them. I was able to make it more my own.
Just for fun, I am going to add that I had the most fun getting the darks and lights on the metal caps and making the pepper look like pepper in the pepper jars. 🙂
This week I returned to painting on masa paper. I found a wonderful reference photo of this old tree on wet canvas and it drew me in to want to try it.
Those of you, who have followed my posts, know that this is my favorite watercolor surface. I have a beginning tutorial here if you are interested in trying this yourself. I have posted multiple masa paper posts and you can view them by clicking the tag called masa paper under the title of this post. I paint and lift and paint and lift on this surface. I work until I like what appears. There is waiting time in between because the pigment soaks through the toned masa paper to the coldpress watercolor paper I have adhered it to.
I welcome any questions you may have in the comment section below and will answer them as best I can.
The above three drawings were drawn without looking at the paper. It is the first skill my beginning drawing students learn. I am always amazed at the ability we have to actually feel the surface of what we see and transpose it to the paper with just a few directions.
In class, the students learned blind continuous line, continuous line, negative space, one point perspective, cross contours, value and gridding. They worked from both live objects and photos. My main goal was to help them to see and then feel the contours and decipher the angles and values of what they see.
This class was a joy to teach and it is my hope that they continue to explore drawing and art in the future. If you would like to view a gallery of their work this last six weeks click here or the link at the top of the page titled “Student Art: Beg. Drawing”.