And here we go with chrome!
I hope you have your paints and paper ready as I want this to be a practical epxerience. Having said that, I'd like to briefly describe a few strategies that have helped me so far in painting shiny objects and in particular chrome.
I've found it extremely helpful to spend some time looking at the object I'm going to paint. For me this is almost always a reference photo. I like to set that photo as my computer background picture so I can see if often before I actually start painting. I do this so I can really begin to see what's there. The more I look, the more I see. I don't intend to do a literal interpretation of every detail, but knowing what is really there gives me a chance to determine shapes, colors and values. In this WIP, for example, in the very left end of the bumper as it curves around the car, there is a reflection of a car. It is really distorted, but it is there none the less. You can also see some colors in the headlight that are reflections of the sky and ground.
Secondly, when painting chrome, I've found it is important to have a lot of contrast from the white of the paper to jet black. And as things curve away from the viewer, the colors get darker (and more distorted). THe beauty of watercolor let's you layer colors so you can always go darker if you think you need it.
So let's get started.
1. The first thing I'll do is preserve some white buy using masking fluid. Using maskinig fluid isn't necessary, but keeping your lightest values (white in this case) is. I'm only using it for small areas that I don't want to inadvertantly paint over.
2. Next I'm going to paint in the light blue for the sky's reflection on the chrome bumper and other smaller chrome objects using cerulean blue and a touch of cobalt blue in very watery mix. I actually did two layers of blue as I thought the first go-round was too light:
I'll also add some blue to the engine parts in the upper-right as a base color for what will be indigo and black. The yellow you see is the masking fluid.
3. Next I'll add a light green for the base color for the reflected ground. I used sap green and a touch of raw sienna:
The paper is warping a bit as I didn't stretch it causing some shadows in the photo.
4. After that dries I go back in and added some more of the green mixture:
5. Now I'm ready to see how I'm really doing because I'm going to add some of the darkest values to the chrome. The technical name for this step, for those of you takinig notes, is called "Being Impatient!". I'll use a mix of indigo and van dyke brown for the blacks, phalo blue and indigo for dark blue color and burnt sienna and van dyke brown for the buildings:
Now we're getting somewhere. The darks really make the chrome start to take shape. I think the reflected ground color is a bit too light and needs to be gradually made darker as the bumper curves toward the ground so I'll darken that color and add some darker values to the top of the bumper. This will give it more of a curve. I'll also add some more darks to the headlight:
I like that better. I also darkened the tree shapes as they really aren't as bright a green as I had them.
Well, that's enough for today. Tomorrow we'll start adding some darks to the headlight and blinker light and then work on the chrome grill.
Don't forget to add your comments, questions and your WIPs in the homework thread