Could this mug BE any moodier?

I’ve been watching the early seasons of Friends and Chandler always made me laugh. One great line that we’ve been saying lately, because I made scones: “My scone. MY SCONE!” When I saw my completed mug study for today all I could think was “Could this mug BE any moodier?”

I experimented with a whole bunch of different things for today’s sketchbook painting:

  • primed the sketchbook page with acrylic gesso (inexpensive Decoarts, which has a smoother surface than Liquitex Basics gesso)
  • stood at my table instead of sitting because my right shoulder is hurting and I’m sure it’s because of my drawing posture at the kitchen table — which gave me a new bird’s eye perspective on the mug
  • used fresh gouache instead of the leftovers that were sitting on my mixing palette to help the layers dry faster and be more opaque
  • painted with a 1/2″ flat brush
  • used less water
  • painted the entire mug in the darkest value, then layered on the mid and light values, extended the paint beyond the contour lines of the mug into the background and shadow, then painted in the cast shadow, followed by the orange background and highlights — this is inspired by the process Carol Marine describes in one of my favorite books Daily Painting, where she talks about carving out the subject by painting the background around it
Daily Art 09-27-17 moody mug painted from life in gouache on gessoed Canson XL Mix Media sketchbook

Like yesterday, my lack of gouache skills obscured a good sketch. I have to do more work on figuring out this “carving out the subject” technique because on my version I obliterated the sketch of the mug when I laid in the dark values.

I really like the way the background is looking though — how the cast shadow and orange surface intermingle where they meet. And I like the effect of having the dark value of the mug down first, and adding light areas on top. This may have been the wrong sized brush for the job, but I do like the movement the brush strokes have.

I also noticed I’m getting quicker at color mixing. The orange color I wanted was easy to achieve, thanks to the handy color temperature guide I made.

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