Mug illustration troubles

I set an intention to make this morning’s gouache mug study more illustrative in style and not worry so much about value accuracy. I also intended to mix up a nice grey color to paint with. Neither of these things went very well. I’m aware of feeling off and grumpy this morning — maybe that had an influence in my sketchbook.

The first sketch of the outlined mug went OK (despite the color that was way off from my goal). I like the simplicity of it and the hatching pattern on the surface.

The larger, second mug was stickier. I think it was because I was all over the place with what I was trying to accomplish. I wanted some shading on it so I tried a gradient wash type of approach, and struggled with applying it nicely. The brush strokes need a lot of improvement, but I was using too much water and a gessoed surface so things were mucked up.

Daily Art 09-28-17 gouache mug illustrations on gesso

I did discover that I like the way the gouache lifts off of the gesso surface though. The highlights look pretty good — a more natural, soft-edged look compared to painting on white for highlights. And I like the overall shapes of the mugs.

The color is so painful to me! I like browns, but I was going for grey and this ended up a purpley grey-brown mess. The colors I used were carmine red, ultramarine deep, and yellow ochre + white. I seem to remember getting a much better grey with the rose, horizon blue, and lemon yellow + white.

I was so over this one that by the time I applied the surface pattern I just didn’t even care that the color was hard to see. Relief came when the timer finally went off and I could put an end to it. At least tomorrow will be another day to try something else!

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