This was a painting that I thought would be a total disaster but turned out to be something I like. My main focus was to use value to introduce some emotional dimension to a mundane item, in this case a coffee cup. I wanted to use a combination of bluish hues and an orangey-earthy tones (In this case burnt sienna).
I was excited to start this painting because I was using arches paper, which I don't always use but always flatters my paintings. The reason I love Arches paper is that it tends to make everything look just a little bit better.
I started the background first and it was a disaster - colours totally undefined, running all over the place. It just looked like crap. Fortunately being stubborn I decided to let it dry while I painted the coffee inside the cup, then eventually went back to it and went over the entire background with a combination of the two colours, making a very dark and cool mood. The shadows on the cup are a result of some shading techniques I have been practicing.
I like the restrained use of the limited palette, the fact that I didn't give up on a painting, and I also like the cool, dark, "night time" feel that accurately captures the mood I was going for.