I looked around my home to find somewhere new that I had not drawn or painted before that would grab my interest (not as easy as it seems…) anyway, I decided that my husband’s (OK, they are mine too…) stash of spirit bottles on the bottom shelf of a cabinet might be an interesting subject. It will give me a dark, wood grain background and some different colours with the bottles and labels, and also some shadows and reflections of light off of the glass.
My working drawings will be A4 landscape. The light source is mainly from the right, through the door window although there is also light from the study, where I will be sitting and coming from the left slightly from the kitchen.
Linear drawing, using pencil:
Tonal, using ink:
Colour, using acrylics:
I think it needs to be more balanced; I will make it more symmetrical with the two wooden pillars bisecting equally. I am pleased with the colours though and feel this is the study that will prove most useful.
I worked quickly and loosely and tried not to be too precise. On A2 plus size canvas on frame.
Did my sketches provide enough information? More or less, yes. The colour one was the most useful and the linear sketch initially to mark out the areas and fit the bottles on the shelf. The tonal was not so good; maybe I rushed it a bit, but also I think I got the tones and highlights in the colour study, so it was sufficient.
Did being away from the subject give me more freedom to develop my painting style? Yes, absolutely. I felt very free and also used my memory a lot. I felt I was allowed to be inaccurate and bolder. The work has a blurriness to it which I think works quite well. I had to wash over the floor tiles to ensure that they were not too sharp focus to match the rest of the work.
What is my opinion of the finished painting? I like it. I didn’t think I would, but I do. I started off not feeling too inspired by the exercise but when I came to the actual painting I got lost in the moment. It is indeed the shelf with the bottles but not quite in focus, not quite the reality. It was a good exercise.