Warm Up Painting Exercise - #1 Setting up the Still Life

I thought it would be a good idea to start a painting exercise that would be a good warm up, since I had taken some time off. 
So I grabbed some items from the house, set up a light box, and put a simple still life together in my studio.

I want to record the step by step process; today I will start by showing you how I began.   I chose this jar, but it looked dwarfed all by itself on the towel so I switched it for a larger one.

 This jar filled the space a little better.

I moved the light around until I found something that worked for me.
I liked the way the first photo gave more drama to the jar, but I didn't like the big splash of white light bleaching out the towel.

This is the arrangement that I compromised with.  The photo doesn't allow you to see much of the color in the jar, but when it is in front of you it is deeper.

If you're looking at this and thinking "this isn't exactly breath-taking, why not paint something else."   Let me tell you why I chose it.   My eye will retrain with this still life to see many things.  I will have to watch where the towel lines go from thick to thin as they bend and fold with the draping.  That draping also creates shadows and highlights. 
Creating glass is always a good exercise for me, it requires seeing through the glass to what is behind and finding reflection and shine.  So this exercise will help me with observation as I get my hands back working again.
And I am going to paint this on gallery wrapped canvas so I have to work with a bit of surface texture. 

Hang in there with me and check back to see how it goes.   :)   Tracy


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