Still Life - Painting Bottles
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.