How did I do it? Luck, I think. Well, that's not fair, really, given how hard I've been working, but sometimes things just come together. The interesting part for me is to look at what happened, so I can do it again (that's very important). After all, you consciously learn, then internalize:
- The pitcher has a sense of heaviness to it. That comes from how thick the ceramic looks along the rim, as well as the fact that it's earthenware and people know how those feel.
- The reflections on the lip and water edge add dimensionality. (That inner wall of the pitcher was the hardest thing to do.)
- The flower shadow below the pitcher has a sense of sureness about it, coming from not fussing too much (a bad habit of mine). I must have gotten it pretty close to right in the first attempt. Also, the red underpainting shows through just enough. I did the shadow partly by cutting in , and I'm learning how powerful that is. And fun.
- The daisy itself looks dimensional, partly because of the shadows. This yolk on this daisy stood out like a button, so it cast a wonderful shadow. A couple of other crossing petals cast shadows that add to the dimensionality. I've been experimenting with warm vs. cool shadows; these are warm and it works better, although I don't know why. But I just love the petal at 4:30. I guess I painted it in shadow, then did one stroke of white.
- Sometimes an outline makes something look fuller. But you have to watch it a bit. A painting can look cartoonish in a good or bad way.
- While I was working on this, I read somewhere that shadows should be full of color. I totally agree, and shadows were where I first started to add strange colors. But shadows also can have defined or fuzzy edges, and lighter or darker patches.
Anyway, I've done a couple more daisies since then, but not with as much luck.