I decided to start a piece I’ve always wanted to do – marbles. Why? I guess remembering the fun we had as kids playing games of alleys or marbles as they’re called now, on the sidewalk in front of our house and always trying to win the best and biggest ones. This year I attended a collectibles show here in Palmetto and lo and behold, there was a guy with a marble collection. He had a case with custom, felt-lined divots for displaying them and some of them were very pricey. I was amazed, but everything is collectible these days I guess. Anyway, he had some spectacular ones including one made of wood. So this was my inspiration to do this piece and after the bland palette of my last piece I really needed to do something with lots of color. Here’s the first two pieces. One of the challenges of doing subjects like this with glass or crystal is that there are so many tiny facets and highlights that you absolutely must include for it to be real. Lots of subtle light changes, shades and values. Capturing light refracting on glass or crystal can be so rewarding and fun to do. I started on the blue marble, picking out numerous blues and greys that I thought might work as well as a dark blue violet. My first task was to lightly map in my colors or create negative space for the whites including the very narrow slits of light here and there. Giving close examination to the minutest details, by mapping it out I can’t get lost and lose all those tiny little details. Once this was done I was able to go in and layer, creating the depth of the colors. The blue marble is not quite finished yet but I’ve moved on to the next one which has some really odd colors, kind of murky, swamp-like colors but I was able to achieve them using Jade Green (Prisma) and Earth Green (Polychromos) as well as some of the earthier reds. Being aware of all the reflections from other marbles, I added hints of some of those colors to the marbles they reflected upon and will apply this effect to the shadows as well as I develop them.