Months ago, when I first got my Wacom tablet and was still very new to digital art, and somewhat new to working with color, I decided to do some still lives to work on my rendering skills, observational skills, knowledge of light, etc. Well, after months of procrastinating and distracting myself by drawing fun creatures, I'm finally getting started. My goal with these still lives is to increase my knowledge of light and form, hone my observational skills, learn to render different types of materials, as well as work on my digital rendering technique.
For my first still life, I decided to paint my Wacom pen stand, because it was right there on my computer desk. Here are my steps:
First, I set things up. I took two years of mechanical drawing in high school, and it has helped tremendously in my later, more fine arts related endeavors. I recommend mechanical drawing classes to anyone interested in art; they really help you think scientifically and logically about drawing. Anyway, to get the ellipses right, I simply created random ellipses with the ellipse tool on photoshop, then free transformed-->distorted them to fit onto the grid I'd made.
Next, I turned off the line and ellipse layers and painted the surface the pen stand was sitting on, in this case a wood desk. I painted in three general blobs of hue (yellowish on the lower right, orangish on the lower left, and more desaturated up top), and then blended the hues together with a brush composed of many dots. I left it somewhat rough.
Next, I blocked things in using imprecise smears of color.
Starting to refine.
More refining. The pen stand is now pretty much done.
Yet more refining. I lightened up the shadows a bit my lowering the opacity of the layer they were on, and darkened the background to give some more depth. And that's when I stopped.
Things I know I need to work on:
-Grounding the object more. The right side especially seems to be floating.
-The composition. The object is smack in the middle with a shadow on the left and nothing on the right.
-The rendering. Could be smoother in some areas.
So, now that I've given you probably much more info about this painting than you need to know, what to you all think? In addition to what I just mentioned, I'm seeking critiques on...just about everything. My style, my method, etc.
Thanks in advance for anything at all you have to say.
Update: The attached image is a very slightly revised image.