So, the elusive and difficult watercolor trick of painting reflections within reflections. Nothing pushes you ahead in your watercolor journey like painting marbles, my friends...and marbles within a glass jar...that'll REALLY challenge you.
I'll do my best to break things down and give you some tips in this post. If you're new to marbles, start out small. Place a couple of marbles in the sun and study them. Take some pics, choose one that you like and have at it!
I decided to paint this one b/c number one, it was challenging and I knew it would stretch and yes, frustrate me to no end, and number two, I wanted to enter something hard into the FALC juried show this month and this was as hard as I could get...haha.
So, after sketching out all of the little circles and some of the patterns, I had to stop b/c I was so cross-eyed that I couldn't sketch another marble...ha ha...I decided to work marble by marble. I sketched the general shapes and just some of the inside shapes first. After masking all of the little points of light and reflections, I would go back in and do more of a detailed sketch of the inside of the marble. Marbles are complicated! The solid ones are the easiest....
For the blue marble, I just wet the whole inside of the marble and laid the colors on, working from the outside edge in. The outside edge is darker and recedes from the eye. I painted the marble and the shadow separately. For the shadow, I wet the whole area and then with a number 2 round, painted on the reflected colors.
You can really paint the details in each marble forever and never be done. Pick out the most interesting details and concentrate on those. It's really just noticing all of the small shapes.
For a few of the shadows, I did two washes for brighter colors and greater contrast. This can be very time consuming with each marble taking up to 2-3 hours, so take a lot of breaks and don't rush.
I did take the masking fluid highlights off of the front marbles and finish those up by softening the light spots with a clean brush, clean water and a tissue.
For the jar, you are really going to be exercising your powers of observation big time. Little shapes and shadows, how they move, how the marbles on the edge bend and refract with the glass.
Always take a minute to study where your light (white of the paper) is and be sure to preserve or paint around that area. You don't want to lose that.
The "mason" letters proved to be a bit tricky, but again, you're just painting the shapes within the letters. I probably didn't paint half of the shapes that were there in reality! ha ha
Working wet on wet....And I'm using pretty pure colors to capture the vividness of the marbles. I love bright colors.
And my feet were cold, which always hampers the artistic creativity from flowing...cold feet.
And I spent a good amount of time just gazing at the snow....us Southerners don't get much snow..Oh, and we hiked and I found an old metal bucket in the woods and also a jar of some cancer inducing bug killer...the jar was pretty, but I was concerned that I'd gotten it on my skin and my days were numbered...ha ha.
Focus! Back to marbles!
Can you tell I'm dreading the marble with the "M" in the middle....I'm thinking that if I mess that marble up, it'll be terrible...ha ha
I hope you'll try a marbles and reflections painting sometime! I think you'll enjoy it, if you like painting details...
Almost the entire painting was done with a number 2 round, except the background.
List of colors:
Happy Painting! Please comment and share if you've enjoyed it and if you have questions, just ask!