Painting a Diamond,1st May 2017

When you look at a diamond you see lots of reflections and geometric shapes. When drawing a diamond, you have to follow that pattern exactly. Depending on whether you are right or left handed you work from one side of the shape to the other, drawing in all the shapes that you see.

A decision to make before you paint is whether to work light to dark or dark to light. For this painting I worked dark to light. For the dark colour I mixed up a variety of chromatic blacks using ultramarine blue, burnt umber and I added a small proportion of red to that mix. I painted in all the darkest areas first using a small rounded headed brush.

Next, I used a variety of blues to paint in the blue reflected on the diamond: pthalo blue, cerulean blue and ultramarine blue. I often mix up a wash of a combination of cerulean and ultramarine. Be careful when mixing in pthalo blue: because it is a man made pigment it can sometimes turn green instead of blue when mixed with other pigments. I painted in the washes of blue again working dark to light. The other colours reflected on this diamond are red, yellow and purple. I painted in the yellow using a wash of yellow with a minute amount of red mixed. As I worked I rubbed out all the pencil lines and finally I painted in the cast shadow.

There are some areas of “white” on this diamond, so leave that the colour of your paper. I used acrylics and watercolours to complete this painting. To complete, it took a total of four hours. The abstract shapes of the reflections make a very pleasing composition.

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