Exploring Shine – Part 2

This week I worked on a small simple greyscale painting of a chrome doorknob. Having read up on various illumination models previously, I now realise how very complex light reflections between objects can be. Since painting from reference was so much more effective than trying to reconstruct reality when painting the human form last week, I decided to paint a simple shiny object just by painting what I see, hoping that the same would be true this time.

I began with a simple outline sketch of all the complex shadows, gradients and specular reflections I could see…

Then I chose a mid-grey and painted all of the areas which seemed to be that colour…

Next I painted all of the darkest darks and then some mid to dark greys. It was only a simple painting but I’m quite pleased with it.

Interestingly it reads better as chrome when the image is smaller. My guess is that this is because my original image was only about 8cm x 12cm so when I make a large scale photo of it all of the imperfections become apparent to the viewer and this gets in the way of the viewer’s brain recognising it as chrome…

I used W&N gouache for most of this with a little lamp black watercolour for some simple gradients.

6 thoughts on “Exploring Shine – Part 2

  1. I know what you mean, the only way I can do it is to just copy exactly what I can see. I tried one where I made up the reflections and it was a total mess!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spot on rendering of the shine! The smaller image looks better because it adds distance from the viewer. Just like you wouldn’t stare at a real doorknob from 6 inches away and expect to see the detail of every part of it.

    Liked by 3 people

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