In The Shed

In The Shed, a 12x16 oil on panel I finished yesterday.
String, who doesn't love it? How many purposes does it serve, and how long does a spool of it last? Every household develops a collection of various weights needed for different projects, and they sit together nobly waiting on a shelf in a shed or a garage to be called to duty.  Mending, wrapping, fixing. It occurred to me while painting this that you might be able to judge the stability of a family by their string, twine and rope collection. A wide variety represents not only many years together, but an active effort to care for, maintain and improve things.  I inherited a few spools of my father's collection that now nestle in with the collection we had developed, all destined, I'm sure, for some shelf in our children's future homes.
I started by covering my panel with a thin coat of Burnt Sienna and then doing a line drawing using my brush. Once I felt that I had the objects properly placed I differentiated the tones by lifting out the light areas, and stroking in a little more Burnt Sienna in the darkest areas. This helps me see the value pattern and will give me  a structure of values to abide by as I develop the color.
This is part way through my first day of working with color. The first step is to get  the average of  each color, abiding by the light and dark pattern I established in my tonal sketch.

Here I have completed getting the basic colors down and I begin refining. I  look at how the light hits each object and develop it's light and shadow, and the overall relationships of color and value.
Then comes hours and hours of detail. I begin to introduce the tiny paterns created by the way the string is wound on the spool or ball, darken the back wall and the shadows cast on it by the uprights in the shed,  and continue to become more accurate with the local color of the objects.
 I stand back and look look the overall. The final step is to make last minute adjustments ( I realized that after all the hours of looking at this, the tall white spool was too narrow at the top, and leaning in a Tower of Pisa kind of way)  I tone down the blue of the basin, thicken and darken the knotted rope on the right, and eventually find myself making such small adjustments that I realize that I'm done.