A couple of visitors to this blog have asked to see how I go about making a painting. So here it goes...
I generally start with a loose monochromatic under-painting. I typically use transparent red oxide or some other warm earth tone. In this case I've used the red oxide and some ultramarine blue because the hammer has some very dark parts to it. I did not use this combo on the screwdriver because I want the color of the handle to be a lot cleaner. I'm trying to achieve that translucent look by allowing the light to bounce off the white ground of my painting through the paint without an under-painting to muddy it up. This isn't a factor with the hammer. the dark under-painting adds weight to it and will hopefully help it feel more solid and heavy.
Once I get the basic shapes of the objects blocked in I start to work back and forth between them. I'm adjusting the values and tightening up the drawing a bit. I'm still using a pretty big brush, a #6 flat in this case. I use a bristle bright for the under-painting and sable blend flat when I start working on top of that. The softer hairs don't lift the paint off the under-painting as much as a bristle would.
Once I get the objects pretty well established I begin blocking in the background and adding the cast shadow. During this stage I continue to work on the hammer and the screwdriver. I'm trying to keep the figure-ground relationship believable. I'm also continuing to refine the drawing as I paint the background around the objects.
At this point I've pretty much got the entire background blocked in with the cast shadows and the light that's refracting through the screwdriver's plastic handle. I'm not really trying to smooth this out or make it look too finished. I'm trying for a broader, more painterly solution. I also don't want to over paint the background because I don't want obliterate the warm under-painting. I've also added some surface detail to the rubber handle of the hammer. Now all I need to do to finish up is to paint the block of wood the arrangement is sitting on. The dark under-painting will be the darkest part of the block. Most of the wood will be much lighter. I'll post the finished picture tomorrow.