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  • Still Life Techniques
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Still Life - Painting Bottles

  • Slide Show
 
 
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This still life lesson explains and illustrates the step by step process of painting bottles in a still life with transparent glazes of color.

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 1

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 1

It is most practical to paint the background first.

  • It is more practical to paint the objects in order from back to front, as it is technically easier to paint the edge of any object over the preceding one.
  • Note how the bottles are painted in order with the background and apple painted first, slightly overlapping the edge of the bottles.

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 2

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 2

Underpaint the bottles with flat opaque colors.

  • Each bottle, one light in tone and the other dark, is neatly underpainted in a flat opaque color.
  • Take care to establish their outlines as accurately as possible.

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 3

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 3

Apply the first layers of dark tone with a thin glaze of color.

  • Using a fine sable brush, a thin glaze of transparent brown is applied to the light bottle to establish its dark tonal detail.
  • Apart from the normal refractions you would expect to see through moulded glass, there is the additional complexity of drawing the distortion of the apple.
  • A deep green glaze is applied to the dark bottle, whose tonal refractions begin to establish its rectangular form.

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 4

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 4

Build up the tone with additional glazes of color.

  • Some subtle but effective refinements are made at this stage.
  • The dark tones of the light bottle are strengthened to counterbalance the tonal weight of the dark bottle.
  • Similar light green tones are then built up in glazes emphasizing details on both bottles.
  • On the light bottle, the soft green tones enhance the reflected color from the apple and the background.
  • On the dark bottle, their contrast intensifies the luminosity of the deep green glass.

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 5

 

Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 5

Build up a range of highlights.

  • In this final stage, the brightest highlights are built up on both bottles using tints of local color mixed with white for added opacity.

 

Still Life - Painting of Bottles

 

Still Life Painting - The Finished Bottles

Painting of the bottles in the finished still life.

  • When seen in the context of the finished painting, the subtleties of transparency, opacity and reflection depicted in the bottles augment the visual elements at play in the still life.
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