Still Life, Typewriter, Friday 5th May 2017

This was an exercise from the drawing classes I tutor on Fridays. There was plenty to consider here: over 120 ellipses, keys, lettering, perspectives, space bar, ribbon, roller, shadows, to name but a few considerations. It took me some time to complete a line drawing. All the lines will make a one point perspective to the left of the painting, and the lines to the right will all splay out. 

Once I had completed the line drawing, I then mixed up washes of lamp black. I usually do not use black from the tube and make my own chromatic blacks but the painting lends itself to the coldness of metal and black is a cold colour: I did not want to warm up that part of the palette. The warm colours are the on keys and the trade name lettering.  

I worked from light to dark so used a weak wash of colour to cover most of the machine. I built up darker areas as I worked to suggest shape, contrast and shadows. Over the years I have experimented using various types of silver mediums. One that I favour is a metallic leafing pen. This works well when representing shiny machinery. I used a small amount on parts of the machine that look silver, but not all of them. I used light to dark to suggest most of the metallic appearance.  

I wanted to place emphasis on the ribbon of the machine as this represents to me a focal point of a typewriter. So I painted this in four glazes, each glaze was darker than the previous one. The keys: I used the metallic leafing pen to outline them and then painted some orange and a few yellow. I used a mixture of yellow ochre and brown to complete the letting of the trade name and when that was 100% dry I outlined that with a red pen. I used an orange pen to write the lettering on front of the lower part of the machine. 

Lastly, I painted in the cast shadows using the weakest wash of black and also all the cast shadows under the keys and space bar.

 

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