Blue Cup painted like the example in the book 50 Small Paintings, 6" x 6", acrylic on canvas
Blue Cup painted like the example in the book, 6″ x 6″

The painting above is my 41st painting exercise from the book Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings by Mark Daniel Nelson. This lesson is about painting reflections on a colored surface.  The rule is that the shinier the surface the more reflections you have and the sharper the edges of highlights and reflected shapes.  It’s also important to respect the distortions created by the curved surfaces and paint the reflections as you see them, not as you think they should look- that is, if it’s realism you’re after.

For further practice I decided to paint the little glass blue bird below. Because of the transparency of the glass, I experimented with different colored card stock for the background and finally settled on the light green.  The multitude of tiny pinpoint highlights in the glass are due to the fact that I have six overhead light bulbs in my studio. Anyway, I was pleased with the way this turned out.

Deanna Williamson, Blue Bird, 6" x 6" acrylic on canvas
Deanna Williamson, Blue Bird, 6″ x 6″ acrylic on canvas