Friday, January 15, 2010

Still Life: Caving Helmet

For last night's still life, I decided to work on painting my caving helmet and carabiners. The reason is due to the fact that the simplicity of the helmet is offset by the difficulty of the mass of carabiners. In addition, I like the concept of painting a not-so-clean object and seeing if I could get the textures correct.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my effort. As usual, I toned the background and then drew the general shapes using Terra Rosa. From there, I massed in the basic colors for the objects/table based on where my light was coming from.

For instance, after defining the grey/black and white areas of the helmet, I knew that the light was coming from over my left shoulder. So, looking at the helmet, this told me that the brightest part will be above the left light and then gets darker as the helmet moves away from me. So, the brightest area had more pure titanium white and I added more shadow colors/wall colors as the helmet receded.

In addition, I knew that the yellow of the lamp on the left, being in the front, towards the light was brighter than the lamp portion in the back. Therefore, the front lamp contains more purer colors and the back one contains some color of the background in it.

The hardest part of this painting was the carabiner. With Karen's help, I was able to see how to do it. The basic technique is still massing. The darker part of the caribiner is darker than the background. By adding the highlights, the grey object now reads as metal.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this painting. I achieved the "dirty" feel of the helmet in 3D space with duct-tape on it.

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