When looking at jewelery or gemstones the most important aspect is to understand the nature of the item. To do this we will construct one from nothing just using our imagination and what we understand of the physical and technical properties.

This first lesson is an entertaining introduction to give you some idea of what I mean by 'looking'. Don't be too worried if the world I now introduce seems alien at first, because as you progress, you will begin to understand that the real joy of looking is not so much occupying your hands, as truly understanding the laws, the lights and shades, and the memories of all the things around you.

OK, I think I remember what a pearl looks like. Ah, its been so long between pearls. I will try to construct one from memory, first principles and logic.

To begin, let us imagine the largest pearl in the world sits on a red table in a room with a blue ceiling. I am the viewer and I view the perl from the front while behind me is a window. Outside it is a fine bright sunny day.

Now if the pearl was someone elses 'eye' we must imagine what it would see!!.

It would see me, basic and a little crude - but that dosen't matter at this stage?

The window in the same condition.

Together ...

Add a blue ceiling, some walls and a red table (this is roughly what the pearl would see if it could see). Next we squeeze it into a round shape (with a computer this is easy, in a painting you would work backward.) I am a little disappointed at this stage as it looks rather raw and nothing like a pearl. But, staring failure in the eye, we must proceed (forever faithful to our logic).

So lets us rid ourselves of the black edges. Then, since a pearl is not a perfect mirror, I will blur everything ...

Now we can and add a little milky screen (I somehow remember pearls are a little milky, aren't they?)

Still too much saturated color and dark values - so maybe another yellowish screen (glaze) ...

OK ; Now let's cut it out and give it a hard edge ... as it is not made of fur! (later we will look at a lesson on how edge effects texture) ...

That's looks better. Now for the suggested table and ceiling

But can't I have a string, seeing I made it myself?

Why, I'm virtually rich! So why can't a pauper have a millionaire's imagination? I expect any artist can always be rich beyond the dreams of mere mortals, the difficulty becomes one of keeping reality in plain view.

With our 'pearls,' as with the world, that is the starting point, and remember, everything exists in relationship to light and other things nearby. The rest is simple logic - either with a brush or computer. OK, lets look some more into this world.

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