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Pastel Demo on Bark Paper – Refining the Darks

Before moving on to the bottles which will mostly be a study in abstract shapes and distortion, I have chosen to stick with the “dark side” a bit longer. Never fear. I know my limitations and will come back to the light in due course. I am finding that the Bark Paper is quite helpful in mimicking the wood surface of the tray. The pastel is catching on the swirls of pulp, and it really looks like wood grain. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but after struggling with moving my sketch around, this is a welcome relief. Now I’m having fun!

I put in the tone of the table top which is a smooth wooden surface and so is reflecting the warm daylight coming through the windows. This surface is also allowing me to see a lot of reflection of the tray which serves to reinforce a 3D effect. I’m working to ensure that my reflections echo the tray’s wood grain properly. I think I like the greenish hues of the tray in contrast to the reddish hues of the tray’s reflection in the table top. It’s interesting…the table top is actually wooden and is stained a warm, dark brown, but the surface is shiny enough to cause most of this truth to be disguised. The only two exceptions are where the warm wood tone effects the color of the tray’s reflection and at the front edge where the table receives less direct light. I will have to be careful to look for any evidence of a shadow being cast by the tray. My studio has a lot of natural light. Perhaps too much. My setup is being lit from the left and a bit from the front. I hate to adjust this, because I like the multiple window reflections on the bottles.

I have also massed in the distorted images of the inside of the tray as seen through the various shapes of the glass bottles. These shift with the smallest change in my position, so I will work on one bottle at a time and try not to look back. It’s getting exciting! I can’t wait to work on those distortions. Each bottle has its own characteristics. Very cool!

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