Painting 1, Part 1, Tonal study on a dark ground

pots on a dark30052017

This exercise came after researching Chiaroscuro and was a tonal study on a dark ground. In order I could compare this drawing with the tonal drawing done on a light background I kept the arrangement much the same.  However, the chocolate used in the light ground had gone- I wonder why, so I was left with only one bar, which melted under the lights unfortunately. I had to use a different backdrop, which was reflective so I put in the reflections this time. The colours I used were the same 3 colours as before Ivory Black, Titanium White and Burnt Sienna. Unfortunately, the Black did make the drawing a little muddy but I hadn’t the money to buy anymore paint so it had to do. With a Dark ground the balance of the picture was different so the pots were placed in the centre and a dilute but stronger than the light study ground was painted.  The wash was laid over the whole paper and a darker ground added, leaving the original wash showing, this acted as the lit areas of the paper. I made the mistake with the lighter ground picture, in not putting the ground over the entire paper and it was difficult to lose the edge which left the picture looking more fractured.




For the exercise, I had to place my studies together and see which one appealed to me most. Thinking about it I prefer the darker ground. The dark shadows didn’t work as well with the Black so I must try and get some more colours in Acrylic or try mixing to get the tone wanted, but I do only have limited paint colours. What I do like is the darker ground concentrates the eye on the pots. The darker study I didn’t use charcoal I used a graphite drawing but I will probably dust off my watercolour pencils next time and use one to draw out the picture. I drew both under the ground but next time will do the ground first as you can’t see the drawing well when painted on.  The ellipses are getting better with each time I draw them, but they still need some work. With the lighter study, I do like the texture I painted on the walls which gives the picture interest, I wasn’t able to capture it in the same way when under such shadow.  I think when painting with acrylics, or I am guessing oils it is sometimes difficult to keep the objects shape, as the guide lines are drawn over. I guess with time and a redraw the mistakes can be corrected easy enough but as this was only an exercise I didn’t go back and alter any mistakes to the point of what I felt was perfect.


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