OCAD Studio: Still Life Copy in Mixed Media Part 5 – Painting in the White Tones Using Acrylic or Gouache Paint

Painting in the white tones using acrylic or gouache paint:

  • For this stage you just need some white paint (either acrylic or gouache), a little water for diluting the paint and a couple of different size brushes (ideally one medium and one small).
  • Start by identifying the very lightest tones in your image, in this case, it’s the paper, tablecloth, some parts of the plate and the highlights on the glass and silverwear.
  • Paint in the lightest parts first using thick paint and the larger brush.

  • You can add slightly darker tones by mixing in a bit of water with your paint to dilute it. This will allow you to do slightly transparent washes for the less bright tones.
  • BUT be careful not to use too much water as this will buckle the paper.

  • Once the larger areas of white paint have been blocked in, you can use the smaller brush to refine the edges of the light shapes (where necessary).

  • And finally, you can use the small brush to add thick highlights to the glassware and silverware (making sure to keep the highlights as very small dots on the darker tones).
  • Once you’ve finished, make sure to wash your brush in water so that it doesn’t dry out and harden.

Course Materials:

  • Paper
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Vine charcoal
  • Charcoal powder
  • Graphite pencils (from 2B – HB)
  • White Gouache or Acrylic paint
  • Various brushes (whatever you have lying around)
  • Drawing Board
  • Tape

OCAD Studio: Still Life Copy Using Mixed Media Part 4 – Enhancing and Adding Detail to the Darkest Tones

Enhancing and adding detail to the darkest tones:

  • Start this stage by using some compressed charcoal to loosely add more tone to the darkest regions of the drawing (background etc.).
  • It doesn’t matter too much how you apply the charcoal, hatching and scribbling is fine.

  • Once you’ve roughly applied a reasonable amount of charcoal, start spreading and evening the tone using a large brush.
  • It may end up slightly patchy but that’s fine as you will be working over it more – this brushed layer just makes a darker base tone to work over (vs the white of the paper).

  • One the tone has been brushed, start going even darker with the compressed charcoal.
  • Make your application more even and keep the hatching closer together this time (as we won’t be brushing it again.

  • Once the background is sufficiently dark, you can start adding features that are in the darker areas (such as the sprig of leaves sticking out of the ham in my drawing).
  • Make sure that these dark elements are unified with the surrounding darker tones. It can be tempting to make them lighter so that they stand out by that will disrupt the major tonal relationships in the whole composition.

  • Finally, use your kneadable eraser rolled to a point to neaten up any areas of light tone that charcoal dust has been spread.
  • You can also use the eraser to add more detail to the edges of the darker shapes.

Course Materials:
  • Paper
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Vine charcoal
  • Charcoal powder
  • Graphite pencils (from 2B – HB)
  • White Gouache or Acrylic paint
  • Various brushes (whatever you have lying around)
  • Drawing Board
  • Tape

OCAD Studio: Still Life Copy Using Mixed Media Part 3 – Developing the Foreground Elements

Developing the foreground elements:

  • Use a mixture of sharpened charcoal pencil and will charcoal to start adding more detail to the foreground elements, paying close attention to the shapes of the shadows and darker tones in the objects.

  • You can also use the kneadable eraser rounded to a point to remove tone from the drawing, in order to find lighter shapes (this was how I found the shapes of the light knife handle that sits in front of the darker background).
  • The eraser is also useful for erasing highlights in the shinier objects (metal, glass etc.).

  • Carry on adding detail to the lighter foreground elements with the willow charcoal.
  • Try to keep the tones in the elements a bit lighter so that they unify more with the foreground general (thereby separating them from the darker background).

  • Finally, you can use the eraser to neaten the edges of these shapes and keep the foreground nice and luminous moving forward.

Course Materials:
  • Paper
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Vine charcoal
  • Charcoal powder
  • Graphite pencils (from 2B – HB)
  • White Gouache or Acrylic paint
  • Various brushes (whatever you have lying around)
  • Drawing Board
  • Tape