View Full Version : Critique requested

08-31-2013, 01:10 PM

Strathmore Acrylic Paper 9x12
W&N Galeria
Royal & Langnickel brushes


The scene was created from three tomatoes placed in an arc pattern in front of a mirror that was propped against the wall on top of a filing cabinet. I took a picture of this setup with my cell phone, and then painted this while sitting on a couch, cellphone beside my lap.

In another forum I was told that anything reflected has a lower shade of color, something I had not realized.

I'm wondering if my brushes are damaged, since before this painting I had washed the brushes with bacterial soap and then dryed them with a towel. One of the brushes had crusted paint on the hairs, that I was able to pick off with my nails. The pattern of the hairs on that brush leaves me wondering if something isn't right.

When it came time to add color to the sketch on the canvas I had a difficult time, for example, filling in the tomatoes with red. The brushes I have are flat-edged, so I'm wondering if that's why I wasn't able to go around in circles with them.

As I had sketched everything in beforehand I felt that I was moving quite quickly (maybe too quick at times!), so I'm wondering why I had a difficult time blending, or more specifically, creating a gradient from one color to another. For example, the tops of the tomatoes would be more yellow, with green in the splitting areas, and then changing to orange and by the time you get half-way around the tomatoe there should be mostly red (these tomatoes were red and not pink). I found that unlike oil pastels I wasn't able to just blend from one color to another.

Onto the drawing aspects of this painting. Looking back I can see that I should have had a better understanding of just how each tomatoe was positioned relative to the others. In sketching I think I drew the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes in the wrong spots, and then when I went to paint these fruit this problem was magnified by my difficulty in handling the brushes and the paint.


How can I figure out what shade to go with the next time I create a piece using reflections? I say "the next time" because acrylic paintings can't be 'fixed', can they?

Should pointed brushes be used for round shapes?

What gives in blending with acrylics? Should I be using a medium?

Is there something that I missed while sketching, and what way would you have approached starting this painting?

Thank you for taking the time to critique this! All perspectives are welcome!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2013/982153-2013-08-30_04.02.25.jpg

08-31-2013, 07:44 PM
I always approach acrylic paintings (http://www.art-and-portraits-by-margaret.com/days_dun0_ww.jpg) by just mass-blocking in the shapes and then building the details. You can blend by side loading your brush or by using a dry brush technique.

08-31-2013, 11:35 PM
You can keeping working on this, I lay on many layers. I mainly use angle brushes, loading at least two colors, they blend as I lay the paint on. First layer is just blocking in the shapes and colors, build on that until you are satisfied. Sandi

09-01-2013, 12:46 AM
[Easy Dilution

During the last decade we've been able to build upon the wider choice of raw materials and produce for Galeria a buttery consistency that will continue to reduce generally as water is added.

You can easily expreience this by diluting Galeria witha soft brush rather than a bristle brush. ]

09-01-2013, 10:59 AM
I think the concept is good. Tomatoes with reflection in mirror and painted at interesting angle. Why shoot a photo of it and paint from the photo? I think you will get a lot further, and learn a lot more about color, shapes, difference between tomatoes on fabric versus their reflections... by painting this same scene from life. Set it up and paint!

Blending - acrylics need to be dragged into each other to blend, as opposed to oils, which slide easily and blend naturally. You will get more time to blend though, if you use Open acrylics. Open acrylics will give you that extra time to blend better.

Keep painting.

09-01-2013, 11:36 AM
I don't understand how to blend acrylics after a color has dried. It seems impossible. :confused:

Someone told me that once Acrylic dries, that's it, so I assumed that you have to paint the whole thing in one sitting (or a section) of you were SOOL.

Because I spent hours and hours (over a period of about two weeks) on the "fruit on the farm" oil pastel piece I thought that the tomatoes would rot right there on the mirror if I tried and En Plein Inside. :D

I'm going to try this scene again. Going to cost me in the grocery department, or maybe I'll walk over to the neighbor's garden with a mirrors and my easel. :lol:

09-01-2013, 11:50 AM
thevaliantx, I wish I had taken WIP photos of this so you could see how ugly it was when first blocked in. Each step is indeed applied after the acrylic has dried because it does dry fast. Once you learn to make this work for you instead of against you, you can make highly detailed works with acrylics. I learned this technique from watching Jerry Yarnell. You may want to get one of his videos to see how easy it actually is.

09-01-2013, 12:33 PM
I don't understand how to blend acrylics after a color has dried. It seems impossible. :confused:

you're right, you can't blend dry paint
you can layer paint tho, and that building up of thin layers is what builds up the contrasts, the lights and darks, the look of reality in the piece.


09-01-2013, 01:45 PM
snoball, that's a beautiful painting! I love the violin and the sack of feed beside it. At one point I was interested in learning the electric violin (ever heard of Lindsey Stirling or BOND?). As soon as I get my three days off, and complete my end of homeschooling our son, I'll be back on this Acrylic. :heart:

09-02-2013, 02:35 AM
wow Snoball, your art is amazing. please do take WIP pictures for your next one, I would love to see it develop!! :heart:

09-02-2013, 10:46 AM
la, i don't know why i can't wrap my mind around the idea that colors can be created with layering, even without blending. It does make me wonder what in our everyday lives has color created in this manner.

09-02-2013, 10:59 AM
I am having the same issue

09-02-2013, 11:32 AM
la, i don't know why i can't wrap my mind around the idea that colors can be created with layering, even without blending. It does make me wonder what in our everyday lives has color created in this manner.
Do a bit of research on bending light.




09-02-2013, 04:45 PM
thanks, snoball.

As a child we had a white cat named sno(w)ball. :heart:

09-02-2013, 04:51 PM
That's funny, as a child we had a black cat named snowball.

09-04-2013, 09:55 PM
nice painting you did there .. you could step away from trying to capture photo realistic effects .. such as reflected light that would come from the mirror and bounce of the table back on to the tomato's .. just bring up the contrast on the tomato's in the mirror or on the table .. that would create tension with out with out people expecting a realistic effect it would keep the wonderful playfulness of what you have all ready done so well..you did what im talking about with the shadows but not so much with the tomato's ..i really like this painting ..great work