I’ve returned to the three cubes because I have a brand new cloth. OK so it’s just an offcut from the end-of-roll box at the fabric shop but the colour is right – a nice N4 grey on the Munsell value scale. Hopefully it’ll make the exercises a bit more useful.
My photo of today’s setup is a bit dark but it shows what I’m working from.
Cubes set up on new grey fabric
The first painting is a standard effort, as measured, with one difference at the light end. It’s amazing what a day off can do for freshening up the eye – when I set this up and began measuring I could see that the light side wasn’t a flat tone as I had thought but was in fact light until most of the way up and then gradated down a tiny bit and then showed the lighter highlight along the edge.
This is painted that way. White paint at the bottom of the light side gradating to N9 at the top, then a white highlight along the edge. That way I get a white side and a white highlight without losing a step as I did on the earlier exercises. This isn’t the only way to paint this – I think the other mappings of the tones were just as valid – each version shows a different effect. This one looks like three cubes in somewhat dull light. The definition on the black cube is lost – but that is exactly what I was seeing.
Cubes on grey 1
For this one I experimented with shifting the values a bit to try to make it look like it was under lighter lighting conditions. Playing with the new lighter cloth must have gone to my head – I’ve painted it too light and the effect of the cast shadows isn’t convincing. Obviously there’s more to it than just adjusting all the tones by one step.
Cubes on grey 2