Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Painting a Bakery Case in Watercolor

Yesterday I painted a bakery case in watercolor. (Link to YouTube)

The challenge was to paint the pastries seen through the glass as well as the reflection of the skylights. 

This is difficult because the brain can't see these two overlapping realms at the same time. The camera does it more easily because it's monocular. 

At the pencil stage I laid out the perspective and also the shapes of the reflection areas. Within the area of each light reflection, I raised the values to a higher tint. Since it was transparent watercolor, I had to do this without resorting to opaque gouache.

Thanks to Heather and the Fresh 'n' Easy Café in Kingston, New York


Lou said...

Years ago I discovered, quite by accident, that if I re-wet the area on the WC where I want to place the reflection and blot it with a paper towel, the towel lifts most of the pigments leaving the faded higher values that you speak of.

jeff said...

I do what Lou does as well.
An excellent book that uses this technique a fair amount is Breaking the Rules of Watercolor by Burt Silverman. It's still out there and I recently found a used copy on Amazon. Well worth the price of $15 for the the reproductions of Mr. Silverman's paintings alone. He does use Strathmore plate 3 and 5 ply bristol so it's a very unconventional way of painting. David Levine also uses a similar technique in his paintings.

Pedro Vazquez-Casta said...

I admire something that I have seen in Gurney that I have never seen in other artist. James G. seems to be painting like an abstract painter, but he captures colors and some kind of "essence" of the image, that it looks very real. It is a wonderful gift from Nature, James, you are a genius, a master!

Bob said...

Mr. Gurney's realistic depiction of this bakery case is making me hungry! Since binocular vision complicates sketching the reflections, might it help to close one eye while establishing their outlines?