As I’ve learned to render and design jewelry over the past few years, I’ve often found the most helpful teaching aids to be visual shots of a work in progress. But because I’m often under the gun (time-wise) to produce a rendering as fast as possible, I often forget to take the time to scan my work in-progress so that I can show my readers a little more of how it’s done.
Fortunately, this past week, I DID remember to take the time to scan a rendering pre-completion. In this opal pendant design, I’ve blocked out the base colors (the palest colors I use, outside of the final highlights) and have added two “low-light” colors to the diamonds (a slightly darker gray – which is hard to see – and a charcoal grey.) At this stage, you can already see the depth of the stones “magically” appearing:
And, while this is not exactly a two-step process, in this final rendering you see the addition of all of the highlights (as well as the near rainbow of colors in the opal itself):
I have to say that I’ve shied away from opals in my designs and also in the jewelry I choose to wear because I’ve long thought that opals were an unlucky stone. Upon reading further, as I contemplated doing this rendering, I realized that my “bad luck” superstition does have some historical origins. Following the publication in 1829 of Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein, people began to think opals caused bad luck and even death, since the book’s heroine died after a drop of water fell on her supernaturally-empowered opal talisman and rendered it colorless.
However, looking even further back to the Middle Ages, opals were thought to provide great luck since they were believed to contain the virtues of all of the gemstones whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.
So set me straight. Do you have an opal piece of jewelry that you feel has brought you good luck? Why?