The most common of everyday articles for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Have you ever really looked at a glass of water? Try painting one!
How not to do it.
- Paint the outline slowly to make sure it’s crooked, and do it in a highly staining colour, so it can’t be fixed.
- Forget about perspective and paint the oval closest to your eye (here: top) with the strongest curve.
- Worst of all: try very hard to leave out fiddly little bits of lighter colour from the very start. This results in the confused lines that you see on the water surface and the bottom here.
So how do you do it?
Artist and blogger Dayna Bordage often posts beautiful paintings of transparent water containers: bottle, vases, reflections, more. Recently she created this 7-step guide with step-by-step illustrations. What I learnt was this.
- Instead of identifying the light edges and trying to paint around them, try to identify areas larger areas of at least a little colour, and paint those.
- Then in the next step identify areas that are at least a little darker. Repeat. This way the pattern of highlights and shadows emerges naturally.
- Finally add highlights with gouache, or if you’re a purist, sprinkle gum or dab a white oil-pastel crayon before you start.
I’ve often read about the principle of painting from light to dark, but I never understood that it also means painting from large areas to small. I guess in order to learn, you have to do it … wrong.