Triadic mixed media mug

Trying out a couple of new things for this Daily Painting:
  • triadic color palette
  • applying white gesso over the paints in an underpainting approach

After sketching in a pencil outline of the mug, I added some Stabilo All Pencil in black and softened it with a damp brush, then used watercolor to add some color to it. I scribbled Olive Brown Neocolor II crayon into the top part of the background, and painted red-orange watercolor into the bottom. White gesso was applied over the sketch to bring out the edges add contrast.
daily art - mixed media mug study
On this mixed media mug, I allowed myself to get messy and embrace unpredictable results, while keeping in mind fundamentals like value, contrast, and color scheme.


I’m often overwhelmed by what colors to choose. Even if I select a standard scheme like complementary or triadic, I can’t decide which particular colors to use. For this sketch, I decided I wanted to use my new Olive Brown Neolcolor crayon so that became my primary color. The red-orange and blue-violet completed the palette.

I’m realizing something about myself during this daily art practice. Even though I’ve always been a good student (rule-follower, completing projects, etc.) when it comes to creating something new I avoid doing “standard practice” stuff. I try to invent my own way, be unique and original. This doesn’t apply to following lessons — when it comes to a book or course, I can do what the instructor says no problem. But it’s that on-my-own stuff where I feel like that’s cheating or something. With this painting, I decided to do a couple of things differently: I selected a photo of a mug (how cliché is that?!) for my subject, and a well-established color scheme (triadic). 
And I’m so happy with the results! This is one of those sketch paintings that gives me a little thrill when I look at it. Yes, it’s a simple mug. But the reason I’m so happy with it is that I followed time-tested techniques for success. 

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