I am a first time contributor to this forum even though I have been reading, with much interest, the valuable information that so many of you have shared with this community. I bought Mark's videos some time ago and watched his excellent free on-line tutorials multiple times. I have finally set up a studio, following Mark's instructions as closely as my space allows. The studio is a 12' x 9.8' room with a ceiling height of 8.3' and the lighting fixture is in the middle of the room. I have positioned my shadow box and easel as close as practicable to meet Mark's suggestions in terms of lighting angle etc. I painted the walls black and even laid black rubber mats (as found in some gyms) on the floor, which have the added advantage of providing protection to the wood flooring underneath. Two images are attached, showing a part of the studio where I have positioned the shadow box and easel.
I have set up my still life and a photo of this is shown below. Note that I used my iphone which has poor contrast - the highlights are not that bright. Incidentally, I would welcome comments on whether this is a good still life composition. Not sure whether I have bitten off more than I can chew for a first attempt. Having started to prepare my palette one soon realises that nothing is ever as straigh-forward as it might look. One issue which I would welcome some assistance with concerns the following:
My black (60% ultramarine/40% brunt umber) is nowhere as black as the background which, according to MC's method is OK, I'll just paint it with the colour I have mixed. The potential problem that I have encountered is that the inner surface of the broken jar is also darker than my black paint but has a different (dark orange/brown) colour. What does one do in such circumstances? I have balanced the lighting as best as I could and I have not detected glare on my colour checker.