videostep by step
           
  Before you start have a strong concept, in this case movement from foreground to atmospheric light. I’m using the grapes and vase in an abstract way to achieve the illusion of depth. A small pencil sketch helps in mapping out ideas, jotting down any thoughts  
    STEP 1
Apply a thin wash to tone the canvas. I used Raw Sienna and passages of Cobalt Blue where the composition recedes into more distant areas. It’s useful to add some texture as a base for the tabletop.
 
           
    STEP 2
Indicate the path of the composition with flowing expressive lines, encouraging the viewers eye to move around the painting. Sketch in the composition using very basic shapes.
 
           
STEP 3
Establish shadow patterns, massing in and linking up dark areas to create a solid structure.
These underlying connected shapes will give a firm foundation to build the painting on.
 
 
STEP 4
Rough in background tones, directing light toward the focal point of the painting.
Keep dark colours thin using subtle shifts in colour temperature to create interest in the shadow area.
 
 
 
STEP 5
Loosely block in grapes, avoiding detail.
Remember that warm colours advance,
cool colours recede.
 
 
      STEP 6
Begin to establish light, using cool colours.
This works well against the warmth of the grapes.
   
               
      STEP 7
Refine shapes and colours.
Model the grapes, resisting the temptation to get caught up in detail. Remember that grapes are translucent, allowing light to pass through them, causing a warm glow on the far side.
   
               
      STEP 8
Indicate light on the vase. As it’s a symmetrical shape, check that both sides are as even as possible. If in doubt, hold up a mirror to get a more objective view of your painting -
inconsistencies will appear more obvious.
Strengthen the composition, deepening shadows, intensifying light. Toning down dark areas will automatically make the light appear brighter. Soften receding edges. Sharpen important edges and boost the highlight on the vase.
   
               
      STEP 9
Reinforce the original concept of the painting.
I wanted to create the illusion of depth. With that concept in mind, fine-tune the overall painting. As you can see, the bunch of grapes leads the eye back to the main focal point. The vase is bathed in a soft ambient light, which holds the viewers eye, before being led back to the foreground again by the stalk and two grapes on the left hand side.
   
               
    Knowing when to stop is probably the hardest part! Once you’re happy that your original concept has been achieved, sign it - you have a finished painting!