Practice / study

I am trying to get a better feel and understanding of contrast , shading.
And thought it might be good using just black and white for practice on these eggs and bowl.

Still struggling with this : should I go even darker ( I feel like then the white is all lost ?) or add pure white ?

Noob issues !
I appreciate any input 


  • CBGCBG -
    edited October 2021
    Use your color checker.  use reference photos 
    See what white objects actually look like. Study the actual values.
     Don’t worry about your feeling white is lost… paint white things the way they actually look.

    Do that enough and you’ll be comfortable with things looking as they do and painting them as they look.

    PS - Maybe stain your canvas a dark shade first… maybe mid to dark gray or even black and then paint your objects 
  • Color check. You need to do this to train your mind to see the values correctly. At the moment your idea of what something should be (i.e. clouds are white) is stopping you seeing the current values.
  • @CBG @Richard_P

    Thank You ! I will do that 
  • edited October 2021
    Ok, my comments come from the ignorant side of never using a colour checker. I do the same thing, just using other methods. What they are asking you to do is compare your painting directly to the source. On a previous painting I googled and found your source and realised it was a photo taken in very high studio lighting. You haven't shown us the source, so it's difficult to know.
    I would describe it as washed out and ghostly. I don't think you've found the dark tones in your source. If you have, your source is very light - that's called a 'high key' meaning mostly in the lighter/higher tones. (I'm struggling at the moment with a large portrait because so much of the background is low key - darks. I trouble seeing them apart.)

    I think you will never forget this video. This is a video that will change the way you think.
    I think it will highlight for you the value of a colour checker or similar methods to see what you are seeing. Our eyes adjust to light changes or tells us what the 'true' colour or tone of something is in the shade - even though it isn't right now, and our mind tells us the trees in the distance are green when they are perhaps grey violet because of the atmosphere. Painting is learning to see what is there, not what our mind has taught us to interpret.
  • Hi @Abstraction
    Thank you very much , again.

    I have a color checker and try to use it . But even then I find it challenging . I don’t get the “ color “ of white . I mixed it with pinches or blue , black , green, I tried white on its own .
    I found the right shade for the shadow .
    Still being too careful I think and I find working without much color really difficult , so that’s why i am doing it . I’m hoping it’ll help me get it .

    I am going to check out this video you left here for me. I appreciate it ; your responses are so thoughtful and helpful . 

    I noticed that many colors are not actually what we think : I found orange in the white fur of a cat and purple in my pear’s shadow . 
    Before painting I never gave this thought.

    Much thank you , 

  • @Abstraction
    I don’t think “ much thank you “ is a thing.  
    When tired , my English goes in pieces .😁
  • Everything mentioned above is good advice.
    May I add, perhaps you are getting bogged down with trying to make your work "perfect" and "real" instead of experimenting to see what you can achieve?
    Have you tried dividing a page or canvas into sections, putting the same picture in each square and trying different ways of playing with the values, contrasts, rounding surfaces etc.....?   Cylinders are even easier than eggs for multiple experiments, then graduate from there to eggs.
    Why not try with reds or blues, or greens..., not just black and white?

    PS   Many years ago the saying "Ta muchly" became common where I lived.   It was a variation of "thank you very much".    At the time, a young lad in a petrol station cleaned my windscreen for me.   I said "ta muchly" to which he replied very seriously, ...."my name is not Muchly"    I still laugh when I think of that!!
  • @toujours

    I haven’t tried that , no.
    In my head it would be good to try black and white so I could see it clearly . To me it seemed like the most challenging one and I can see what I’m not doing .

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