The Hardest Part Is Not Drinking It

Tackling another project:


I wanted to do something with some serious specular highlighting, and some transparency, and distinct shapes that I’d have to not try and cheat my way around too much.

Beer! Beer will do. And while it will go flat, it won’t literally rot away over the course of several days left out, so I can keep coming back to this one. But it’s a bit weird in retrospect to have a beer just sitting there, not for drinking. And a really nice Nut Brown, too. Shame.


I started with an underpainting with thinned out orange, same basic deal as the last couple, and it’s starting to feel a little more natural; I spent more time getting stuff outlined this time, partly because there was just more to do but also because I wanted to try harder to get the shapes and proportions close to correct.

That feels like it paid off reasonably well so far. But the new ideas in this — getting that subtle shading of brown light in the beer to come out, getting the play of direct and indirect shadows right, getting the relatively cool and warm and light and dark colors in the room — have all been a challenge.

The deceptive nature of relative hue and value and intensity is something I’m appreciating a lot more with this one where, unlike the self-portrait I did previously, there’s not really any anthropomorphic or emotional engagement to be distract from all the stuff that’s off the mark.

More work to do on the first pass, get the floor and walls and green piping on the cloth in place and some of the rim/highlight stuff for the glass, and beyond that the paint on the already painted bits is full of gaps because I keep mixing not nearly generous enough amounts of each color when I’m working.

This is on rougher canvas than I’ve been using, too, owing to me grabbing supplies at the store without really looking. It’s an interesting change and I might like it, but I was expecting to be a bit more fiddly with details on this one and the rough goes against that a bit it feels like.