Rendering art jewelry designs
My fascination with jewelry rendering started with a workshop
by Sharon Church in 1988 during the Society of North American
conference at Skidmore College. She taught pencil sketching
and watercolour with gouache techniques. Sharon recommended a
class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City
taught by Sandra Boucher(formerly designer for
Tiffany and Harry Winston) which meant traveling once a week
Newport to New York for two years. Sandra then suggested I
study with Omar Torres who was also at that time the top designer
Bulgari (previously of Van Cleef & Arpels).
The following are rendering techniques that I use which are a
combination of influences from Sharon Church, Sandra Boucher,
Fulco di Verdura, Jean Schlumberger, Suzanne Belperron, Rene
Boivin, Paul Flato and Renaissance painters everywhere.
Strathmore 300 series sketch pad
Koh-I-noor technigraph pencil and sharpener
Berol Turquoise Eagle drawing leads #2H
Staedtler-Mars Plastic Eraser
Ruler (transparent millimeter and inch style)
Canson # 90 Heavy weight Vidalon tracing paper (vellum)
Berol Prismacolour metallic silver pencil
Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper (Black)
Palette tray (porcelain works best)
Brushes (white nylon sable #00,0,1,2,3)
Winsor Newton Designers Gouache - Permanent White, Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre,
Yellow, Burnt Umber, Lemon Yellow
Winsor Newton Artists' Watercolor - Neutral Tint, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian
Blue, Winsor Emerald, Mauve
Pan watercolor sets are helpful to achieve other gemstone colors
Templates come in a variety of patterns. Circles,
ovals, squares, rectangles and triangles all come in graduated
Berol and Staedtler-Mars produce a great selection of them. Rio Grande has a
jewelry design template with assorted gemshapes and sizes. Create your own patterns
from heavy paper.
To encourage a creative mode you will need:
No doubts or fears (banish guilt and financial worry)
Organization (clean the studio)
Everything in front of you
Create a scrapbook of design examples
Clip photos of different gems, beads and pearls for color clues. Chain and jewelry
pictures help with highlights. Old portrait paintings are great for studying
techniques. Queen Elizabeth loved pearls and even the children were adorned with
gold and gemstudded finery. A still life of a sumptuous feast will provide splendid
examples of beautiful rendered holloware.
Always save a record of your basic sketches, scribbles and inspirations. History
repeats itself as you will see if you save ideas over the years.
|Transferring the design
Draw the design onto the vellum. Turn this over and rub the reverse
of the pattern with the metallic silver pencil.
If you place this on your sketch pad and tape it with masking tape so that it
won't move while you do this, you will end up with a perfect reverse of your
Take the vellum design and place it silver side down onto the smooth side of
the Canson (black) paper.
Center the design then tape with masking tape. Carefully retrace your design.
the tape slowly otherwise it rips the paper fibers.
Now you are ready to paint.
|Preparing to paint
Use purified or distilled water the paint will flow better.
Premix your paint
in the porcelain palette.
If you keep this dust free it will be ready anytime that you need it.
Paper towel or napkin to blot the paintbrush.
Silver or Platinum
is permanent white and neutral tint
highlight is permanent white
shadow is permanent white and neutral tint (darker than the base)
outline edges with neutral tint
base is yellow ochre
highlight is golden yellow and permanent white 50/50
ultra highlight is lemon yellow and permanent white.
shadow is burnt umber.
Rose gold - apply a light wash of red watercolor over the yellow
Green gold - apply a wash of green watercolor over the yellow
When applying the wash use a very thinned out watercolor and a light touch with
an almost dry brush so that you don't smear previous work.
When you finish rendering the design, paint a shadow behind the
jewelry with ivory black. Make sure that you keep the paint
it will look uneven. If you decide to use another color paper
use a watered down neutral tint instead of the ivory black for
the shadow. This will blend better.
This article was written
by Susan Sarantos ©1999
in the hopes of encouraging others to render jewelry designs with
watercolor and gouache.
der Herzogin Anna von Bayern
- amazing book with examples of
renderings from the Digital
Library Department of the Bavarian State Library
Books on Jewelry Design Rendering:
Art of Jewelry Design
- Maurice P. Galli, Dominique Rivière,
Fan fan Li
Variations in Jewelry Design
- Maurice P. Galli, Dominique
Fan fan Li
- Maurice P. Galli, Dominique Rivière, Fan
of Jewelry Illustration and Color Rendering
- Adolfo Mattiello