Despite not having completed my shadow box, I pushed forwards to try and begin a painting, since I had been studying from the website since August.
I made some mistakes that am aware of and others I haven't yet figured out.
First, I think my canvas was too small at 8" x 8".
Also, I think the silver object was too detailed for the size canvas.
I laid out a still life under the same two 85 watt florescent bulbs as my easel, and I checked my white balance.
I painted a wedge, and a piece of wood in Holbein white, to compare light levels, and the still life seemed dark, so I moved it closer until the levels matched.
I had some difficulty because my black was not as dark as parts of the still life.
I thought I was getting glare, so when I put my hand over the color checker (mistake), my color looked darker.
So I mixed about 8 levels of grayscale, and started trying to lay in the colors where they belonged.
My brush was too fat for the detail I was going for, I was trying to paint the background around the silver object, and was unsure what my second step should be, since my first step was not black enough already.
I think I should have trusted the color checker, and not tried to cover it with my hand to check for glare.
It was all downhill from there, with my inexperienced brush strokes, and I ended up wiping off the entire canvas, and then just played with all the colors, practicing brush strokes and creating a piece of modern art (which I wiped off as well).
So the question of the night for me was; if my first step is unable to get as dark as reality, what do i chose for my second step?
Do I have everything lighter than reality by a step or two? Or do i just omit details until I reach a step that matches my paint on the color checker?
I think if I re-use this 8x8 canvas I will do a simpler still life, and paint the object much larger than life.