View Full Version : The Black Vintage Vase - WIP

02-25-2008, 02:19 AM

The Black Vintage Vase
Still Life

29 x 21 cm

Watercolour on Arches


I'm totaly out of my comfort zone here.

I'm always absolutely in awe of the artists here that post their WIP for all to view.

In class last week ...I was blown away by a still life that one of the students had completed, its photo realism was astounding,
I thought I must try and set a still life up at home and try it.

I must thank Gene as she has motivated me to explore this side of watercolour. Gene you are an inspiration to us all and we are priviledged
have you in our class.

[Note: To preserve the continuity of instruction, this thread has been edited to remove some posts that did not pertain to the technique being demonstrated. The Moderators]

02-25-2008, 02:28 AM

02-25-2008, 04:13 AM
I started this yesterday, and I have been working hard at it, as i am not very familiar with what everyone expects of a WIP... i have started it with my first progress shot after getting stuck into the background, you get so excited that you forget to stop and take a photo.

'The background' done wet in wet with the following colours;

All paints are ART SPECTRUM

Yellow Ochre
Ultramarine Violet
Permanent Red
Indigo Blue

I set up a still life on the dining table with a very strong halogen light on the left hand side... hence the strong cast shadow of the vase on the right... I thought this was dramatic as this small little vase has quite a presence and is dramatic in colour per se.

A reference photo was taken as well.

'The Vase'...

Predominantly Indigo Blue for the body.
Touches of Phthalo Blue for the lighter areas to give the appearance of shine/gloss.
Burnt Sienna for the dinning table reflection as it is brown.

The table this was set on is a very deep brown and because the 'Black Vintage Vase is very glossy, it picks up on all the colours that surround it.

'The Floral Design'...

Yellow Ochre
Burnt Umber for the line work.

It seems as though there is no rhyme or reason in the way i work all over the place... and it draws gasps of breath from those of you that are so much more expereinced than me.

I just know that i had to try with this.

I hope i have satsified you with the information so far, not sure what else to include. If there are any more questions i would be happy to answer these.

I am not comfortable at all... in fact, i have the 'rexona' working double time! :lol:

I have set a goal for myself in that i want to try and paint something that resemble real objects rather than my fantasy ladies that i make up. :lol:

I have always been able to draw realistically i feel in graphite, but when it comes to using colour... i am lost!

02-25-2008, 04:19 AM

With most of the vase in... i thought i'd start work on the 'sea shell'

Washes of
Ultramarine Violet
Yellow Ochre

Pattern on the shell
Burnt Umber

02-25-2008, 07:40 AM
This vase was a must when i decided to set up a still life here in my studio.

I'm glad the red tones appeal... as i mentioned earlier i'm not too good with colour, this exercise has taught me to really look at the colours, in the past i would have just said "the vase is black" having to utilize colour in this exercise has me "really looking!"

I know the lip on the vase is a little skewed to one side.
This little vase is not perfectly glazed and the yellow ochre glaze is thicker on one side than the other, so instead of making perfect by altering it in my version i left it as it is IRL.

Will post the next installment tomorrow.

02-25-2008, 08:12 AM

I learned to really look at what colors were present in an object one day in my art class. I had a reference for a white flower or something like that and just saw what my mind knew it was. But my art teacher looked at it and said, "I see some brown here, and look at the blue there...." I was amazed because I hadn't noticed all the different colors that she saw and I saw when she pointed them out. :rolleyes: Now I look at things differently.

Try using a punch and make a hole in a piece of your painting paper or even an index card (without stripes). Then you can move that little hole all over your reference photo or look through it at your subject. That really concentrates your vision and helps you see better. :D

Ah, yes, I see about the lip of the vase. The vase is probably hand-made, so it wouldn't be perfect. :thumbsup:


02-25-2008, 04:19 PM
painterbear...Hi Sylvia,
your information here is great and i am certainly going to try punching a "small hole into a bit of paper" to help me look at the colours in a concentrated area. I have never heard about doing that, thanks for sharing that tip!

My images have disappeared off the screen for some reason, so my vase doesn't appear on my end.

I wanted to upload my next instalment, but think i will hold off, until someone gets back to me.

02-25-2008, 04:45 PM

The Sea Shell has had all of its brown markings paintied in and the majority of the vase has been painted.

The Shell's reflection in the black vase is something i am finding very scary, and i would like to ignore it completely hoping it will go away!

Think i will leave it towards the end. not really sure how to go about doing that, as the vase is still pretty dark in that area picking up the brightness in the white shell.

This is intense... and had no sleep for thinking about my next painting steps... all i thought about during the night was this
"Black Vase!"

I am hoping it will turn out well enough to include in the small seasonal show we have in our Art Society - "Summer Awards"
Fingers Crossed!

02-26-2008, 06:09 AM
Hi there everyone,

HarvestMoon...I don't know what the rules are for 'painting black!'

Indigo Blue is the predominant colour.

I guess with the delicate pattern it makes the vase look light and not so black.

The vase IRL is highly glazed and this will be the challenge... to make it look thick, shiny and glossy... sounds like a hair commercial! Don't mind me I have had next to no sleep thinking about this one and am delirious... speaking of which...

hpthecat... "painter's insomnia" ugh! Yeah... I got that alright! It's exactly as you have described... that's incredible! I'm exhausted from thinking about it. That pattern on the vase has burned onto my retinas! :lol:

Here are the next progress shots...



Time to tackle the reflection in the vase of the shell in front, putting in a light wash of Indigo Blue.

I have put in a light wash of Ultramarine Violet onto the shell behind that has a shadow cast across it from the shell in front.


About that reflection... I have patterned in the shell with the Indigo Blue straight out of the tube only mixing it slightly with whatever water my liner brush could hold... so it is intense... the same value as in the vase. Hope i am making sense. Also the reflected shell pattern had to be slightly skewed to suggest roundness in the vase.

The shell in back has had its pattern laid in with Burnt Umber.

Almost there now...

I am so excited here as i have faced the 'demon' being that reflection and now am on the downhill stretch... phew


The shell in back was finished with the pattern continuing in Burnt Umber and the front of the shell, which is flat in this case and cast in shadow, was also given the same treatment, an Ultramarine Violet wash and Burnt Umber patterning.

Hope you enjoyed the WIP of


'The Black Vintage Vase'
Still Life

29 x 21 cm

Watercolour on Arches
Thanks for your comments, hope this was helpful.

02-26-2008, 06:15 AM
:clap: wonderful finish, Perugina. I loved when you put the reflection of the shell on the vase. That made such a difference.

This is a really interesting combination of the elements for the still life.

Will comment more on the Gallery post of your beautiful work.


02-26-2008, 06:33 AM
painterbear... Gee Sylvia, thanking you so much for following this.

Yes the reflection I feel really does make the vase.

As for the interesting elements, i suppose you don't see too many vases and shells together... these were the objects i had on hand, the vase is a favourite and it just 'screamed' to be painted, i threw the shells in just because i happen to have lots around.

Thanking you again for your support and your enthusiastic feedback.

02-26-2008, 07:04 AM
Having just seen this in the Gallery I had to pop over here and take a look and must say I am even more impressed. That mount really sets it off so well.
Wish I could have such control even when I am inside my comfort zone.

02-26-2008, 07:10 AM
Wow Ted, these are compliments indeed... framed it this afternoon and took it to the small seasonal show judged tomorrow... just got it there in time.

Control... i guess i took it slowly and really thought about the steps, that explains the sleepless night i had between starting and finishing this off.

Thanks for popping in.

02-26-2008, 08:35 AM
That is beautiful. I have a collection of black Japanese vases that I have been reluctant to do because they are black. You have inspired me to give it a whirl. Kay

02-26-2008, 09:07 AM

Wow, fancy me inspiring someone... I am so happy that i have done this...I will be anxiously waiting to see these beautiful black Japanese vases.

Thanks for stopping by.

02-26-2008, 10:33 AM
I have to add , that this is absolutely marvelous, just found the WIP and enjoyed the process very much
very nicely done

02-26-2008, 11:08 AM
This is really beautiful!! That vase is very realistic. Great WIP!!:thumbsup:

02-26-2008, 01:17 PM
OMG.. I did I miss this!!! Wow this is wonderfully done Prugina!!!! :clap:
I love it!!! Don't know what else to say! but you did a great job trying to paint something different than your usual!!! And you came out with flying stars! Congratulations!!! Let us know about the judging!

02-26-2008, 05:32 PM
artastic...Thanks for the positive reply, glad you had a read through.
WIP can be very interesting and informative, also makes the painter of the picture really think their process through.

For me painting is not something that i verbalise... having to write about the 'thinking process' is a learning experience also, as this was a valuable learning exercise for me.

Glad i shared it here.

olliewood0702...thanking you for your positive reply, i'm happy that you find the vase to be 'realistic'

Srishti...thanking you also for your enthusiastic reply, it was refreshingly challenging from what i normally do, and although exhausted from it, i was glad i stretched myself to explore this style in watercolours.

The whole process from setting up the still life here at home, to painting was an enjoyable one... on to the next... will keep you posted on the judging... i'm just happy that i finished it in time and that i can share it with my other fellow watercolourists in the class and Art Society.

02-26-2008, 05:39 PM
I am enjoying watching this painting come together.


02-26-2008, 06:12 PM
BRAVO! ....a contest worthy piece of "traditional" fine art. I suspect you will get many many responses to this. Good luck with the show!!

PS---I like the left flush posting too...a little less formal, more what we have grown acustomed to around here. :)

02-26-2008, 07:41 PM
laudesan...happy that you enjoyed it enough to stop by and reply.

hpthecat...Thanks for your well wishes and high praise. Comment noted about the 'left flush posting' :wave:

02-26-2008, 08:06 PM
WOW!! This is absolutly beautiful. A beginner, I think not. You have done such a beautiful job on this painting. You go girl!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:


02-26-2008, 08:20 PM
yayamama...Marilyn, thanking you so much for your positive response, you are very kind! A beginner in many ways and compared to some here, very much out of my league. I live in hope.

02-28-2008, 02:24 AM
yayamama...Marilyn, thanking you so much for your positive response, you are very kind! A beginner in many ways and compared to some here, very much out of my league. I live in hope.

Gee this reads badly... the word is "depth" not league... as in pool!
The water is too deep and i can't swim... just staying afloat "treading water!"

This is what happens when one has "painter's insomnia!" :lol: