Underpainting and grounds

The completed underpainting for my next piece. For some reason I just really love this motif of a lemon inside a glass jar; this is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've painted it. Drapery folds have always felt like a big challenge to me, and I haven't included many of them in my compositions. That's probably a good sign that it's time to start doing more. I'll be curious to see how they turn out in this case.

I'm also experimenting with using darker grounds, achieved with mixtures of white and black gessoes. I've tried toning my surfaces with thin washes, but find that it's too easy to get the toning pigment mixed into the underpainting. So far I'm very pleased with this approach; it makes judging the highlights and accents much easier than when working on a lighter surface.

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