I have a new feeling of excitement - one I haven't felt for a while :0)
The last bear felt wrong very soon after I began.
All the way through to when I destroyed it I had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to sit well as part of my series.
I learned a lot from the experience.
This time I have been very careful! I have chosen objects to suit my theme unlike the last, where it was the other way around.
I've also been very careful with my composition. Not just with the arrangement but also the whereabouts of my darkest and lightest areas.
This is the first time I have made a full scale tonal sketch using charcoal before I begin...
...I decided to do it this way so as not to get distracted by colour but still get an idea of how the whole thing will look tonally. Of course the beauty of charcoal - particular the Willow variety (my preferred choice) - is that it's so quick! After the initial sketch, it took just minutes to go over with the charcoal but will probably save me a lot of time in the long run.
Anyway, I thought I would show you some photographs of how I got to that stage...
Once I was happy with my arrangement, I made a full size 18 x 22 inch sketch...
And here's a money saving tip - I have an old unused roll of wallpaper in the corner of my art room.
For my full scale sketches I cut out a piece in the size I need and draw on the back. This saves me a fortune on drawing paper which is very expensive in comparison!
The next stage is to trace my sketch, so I can transfer it to my prepared canvas...
For this I use Waitrose Essentials greaseproof paper, because it is white and translucent like tracing paper but a fraction of the price.
Twenty metres costs just £1.48!
Whereas on Amazon, a twenty metre roll of tracing paper is £16.29!
Next, after transferring the outlines to my canvas, I went over the initial sketch with charcoal to work out my tonal values...
So looking at this, I think aside from the hint of the wallpaper pattern behind the glow of the candle, I may also suggest a little above the bears head, but even more subtle - just a mere hint.
The back line of the box will be softer than you see here as it fades in to the darkness and also, a tiny little bit of the bottom of the glass will be peeping out from behind the base of the decanter.
The bears eyes will have sharp highlights and of course the glass will also be straightened out where the charcoal lost the shape a little!
I like it - It has curves and straights, a strong contrast between lights and darks, the bear remains the main focal point and there will be lots of warmth, atmosphere and different textures.
(Note the word WILL and not I HOPE - I am thinking POSITIVE here!!!)
But - before I start that, I would like your opinion on something...
The date on the Wine box is 1998. When I looked on the Internet, the wine in the box was first produced in the late 90's. That said, you can't actually see all of the words.
So - would a wine buff notice if I changed the date to maybe 1946 or around that time? Or, should I just leave the date as it it?
What do you think? But, don't forget, bears weren't invented until 1902 and didn't become common until the 1920's.