The Jamaican Dutch Pot
The purpose of this sketch was to reinforce my exercises with chromatic greys. This aluminium pot – my favourite cooking utensil – is a dull silver with a pocked surface and suited my purpose well. People often wonder how to paint silver without using silver. It’s not hard really; you paint exactly what you see, and forget the fact that it is reflecting colours and tones surrounding the object. I painted this exactly as it is – sitting on our hob. There was a jar of preserved lemons just to the left (placed there by me!) to throw an interesting hint of yellow into the shadows on the left. The hint of brown is a reflection off the wooden wall cabinets behind me.
There is a little trick I have used here that I would also use when painting water. With water the edges are usually soft and there is normally nothing to mark the surface of the water. So a few ripples, or some sunlight scratched across the surface with a knife perhaps, or some reeds poking up through the surface and casting a dark reflection towards the viewer are all ways of suggesting this. Here I also wanted to make the surface plain to the viewer so I made sure not to miss putting in some surface marks and scratches on the pot to locate the plane of the pot.
As an almost monocromatic exercise this has worked well – using ultramarine blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and white