Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tippette #24 - How to paint Lace

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!  Tell a friend!

Painting Lace

Another subject that often puzzles students of our medium (and aren't we all students?), is how to paint lace. Let's think about it.  Usually the lace is not the main focus of your's a supporting character.  You don't need to get bogged down in the details.  Here's a very old painting of mine (I don't find myself painting lace very much these past few years so I really had to dig for an old photo to scan in).  
This was painted after a trip to the market.
And here below is a close up of the lace itself.

What you paint is the holes in the lace and usually it's the table that shows through.  Consider your light source. In this case, it's coming from the top of the picture, where the banana casts a shadow onto the tablecloth.  There's another cast shadow, caused by the cutouts in the tablecloth.  The top edges of the holes have a dark outline that's visible.  Don't make them uniform...give each some personality.  Now look at the top left of the 2nd image.  Those cutouts are further back than the ones in the foreground, so, as the artist, I force that sense of perspective by painting them bluer and paler than the foreground ones.  It all adds to the illusion of 3-dimensionality. 

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