White pitcher: from drawing to painting, Part I

Drawing is a fundamental study and preparatory tool to begin a painting. Here is a “blurred” photo of a simply shaped white porcelain object – in this case, a small pitcher. I’ve blurred the image to better see the light and dark shapes.

Slightly blurred image of small white porcelain pitcher.

I’m going to make a study of the pitcher in graphite, looking carefully at lights, darks and edges. The background will also be determined by value: a combination of dark against dark backgrounds, light against light, and areas somewhere in between. This will give a sense of enveloping space.

Graphite rendering up to six different values.

The next step will be a transferring of this drawing to a toned canvas, over which a grisaille (black to white toned) underpainting will be done. The canvas is toned using an oil wash of burnt sienna. Not too transparent, not too opaque.

Toned canvas, 16 x 12″, using burnt sienna.

I’ve put the sacred geometric grid directly on the canvas above, using vine charcoal. Look for the next post, when I will redraw a diagrammatic image of the pitcher. For now, I will practice my grisaille values by making a value chart that progresses from black to white, on a small canvas panel.

7 value chart, 1 x 7″, in oil.




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