Oil on Arches oil paper, 4" x 4.5"

Oil on Arches oil paper, 4" x 4.5"

Progress steps

Progress steps

I've painted this little pitcher before with strawberries. I love how the light from above reflects off the gilded table top and illuminates the gold luster on the bottom of the pitcher.

The paper was prepared with a light coat of a neutral gray gesso so I could begin analyzing the relationships of value and color temperature from this middle value. I took comparative measurements of height to width and sketched in the jug lightly with a white charcoal pencil, analyzing all the relationships of horizontals, verticals, angles and negative shapes as I went. 

As I started to proceed with paint, I could see that the inside of the jug was about a middle value 5, but the temperature was slightly warmer. I arrived at this conclusion by placing my neutral gray gessoed paper behind the jug and deciding if the gray inside the jug looked warmer or cooler. Once I established this, I used it as a point of comparison to begin finding all the subtle value changes that would describe the form of the jug. I placed the brightest white highlights, some of the warm background color, the deep red around the rim and the darkest umber shadow under the jug. From there it was a lot of squinting to see how each value compared to all the other values and making adjustments where necessary.

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