Turquoise jewellery painting tutorial
For this tutorial you will need:
2 x paper or card, A4 Gun metal grey
4/0 ProArte Polar 31. White Nylon
3/0 da Vinci FORTE synthetics
3/0 Pro Arte Connoisseur
Azure blue 106 – Daler Rowney
Rowney Blue 110 – Daler Rowney
Marine Blue 151 – Daler Rowney
Permanent White 008 – Daler Rowney
Burnt Sienna 221 – Daler Rowney (not pictured)
For this tutorial, I have used rhino 3D software to create the design and printed it straight on to the grey paper using a standard household printer.
You can use the line tools in Rhino to create 2d drawings or you can use other programmes such as illustrator or graphite. You can also draw by hand with various stencils . Using a programme like Rhino or illustrator saves a lot of time and allows you draw very thin lines which would be very hard to achieve by hand.
With fine jewellery you are almost always working to millimetre scale and the thickness of a line can make a real difference to your renders! Using a dark grey, rather than black, to print makes for fainter lines still.
If you are using pencils to draw by hand, as I have done in my other tutorials, then a fine point is essential, a 0.3mm technical pencil is best. If you are just looking to practice rendering then drawing by hand is fine, I have printed this one out because it is in parts quite intricate and symmetrical design.
This tutorial is a step by step guide to painting turquoise, a semi-precious blue/green stone using gouache water colours. The process is really quite simple and it is mostly about creating a rounded looking shape with a nice turquoise colour.
Mixing the base colour is the first step. Mixing a little of the Marine Blue in with the Azure Blue gives you a good base colour for turquoise. Use your other bit of paper or card test the colour until you are happy with it before going into your design. Using either of the synthetic brushes mentioned above is best for this task.
Apply the base coat. At this stage it doesn’t need to be even as you will be adding more layers later on. Again, use the synthetic brush.
The basic technique for creating a 3D shape like an oval cabochon, is that area’s closer to you are light and those furthest away are dark. On your palette mix the base colour you have used with white and then apply to the central area of your stone. Then mix your base colour with Rowney Blue and apply around the edge of your stone. This gives you the basic idea and some colours to work with although you will need to add more paint as you blend. If you feel the dark edge needs enhancing then do so but try to only use shades in between the two you have just added.
Blend these colours until you end up with as even colour as possible, going from light in the middle to dark around the edges. It’s hard to show you step by step blending because everybody will go about it slightly differently. Trying to copy the exact process would be frustrating. It’s best to learn how to do it yourself starting with the colours where they need to be and an example of what the finished stone should look like.
Below are some images of the process but do not try to copy this exactly
When you are happy with your stone it is time to add the distinctive lines that make natural turquoise such an interesting stone. I like to use Burnt Sienna (brown) which you can mix with black if you want to create darker lines. Using the 3/0 Pro Arte Connoisseur brush paint lines on the stones, you can use examples like the ones on my turquoise pinterest board as a guide.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful and has inspired you to start rendering gemstones and jewellery. I am always happy to hear your thoughts about the tutorials and any suggestions for future tutorials and ways to improve them are welcome. Please feel free to comment below.
Once you have mastered the techniques for rendering turquoise stones you can use these skills to create bespoke jewellery designs like the ones below.