On my latest painting there is an awful lot of metal work to include. Metal is always tricky to get right so I tend to break it down a little to make it easier. First I get the metal I am going to paint and mix the colour accordingly until I can paint the object and the brush strokes disappear, particularly useful for this is old coins as I have lined up above.
Once I have the basic colour then I can block in the rough shape, in this case a small teapot lamp that is only 2cm square, not much on a painting that is 48''x28'' but it still gets plenty of work. The shadow is added too at this stage and as it bends around the corner its a two tone shadow.
Once roughed in small highlights are added, not much but just enough for me to have enough information for adding the internal light.
Things are much brighter now and I can brighten up the surrounding area accordingly but it still lacks the metal definition.
So more reflections are added, this time using a very fine brush loaded with white but with a small point allowed to hang from it. This is then carefully dragged in the right areas to give thin lines of reflection. That's the basics anyway, this will now be allowed to dry and then I will start the glazing, in other words thin layers of oil paint that will increase depth and complexity, its only then this will start looking like real bronze.