View Full Version : Abstract still life

02-17-2017, 01:00 PM
This is 7x10 on mixed media paper.

Good composition is something I am always struggling
with so that is my main goal here.
C&C welcome


02-17-2017, 02:36 PM
Good composition includes good choices of colors and their placement in the composition. You've done pretty well in overlapping your objects, but the large red bottle is an exception. It is overwhelming the whole set up. If it had been placed behind the small yellow cup and medium sized bottle, and been painted the coolest color it would have stayed behind the others, and let the viewer look "into" the scene. Perhaps painting it a very cool red (blue added to the red) or a cool green color would be helpful in this regard. Yellow is the warmest of colors so the small yellow cup is vying with the red bottle for attention; it is "pushing" the red even further forward. The yellow bowl in front of the two green elements works well. Over lapping the red and green bottles a bit more no matter which one is in front would be helpful too.

If your intention was to paint an "abstract", then perhaps the indication of shadowing on all elements isn't needed. You might do a little research on abstract paintings. If you go to the International Association of Pastel Societies web page, and click on past exhibitions you will see many lovely examples of abstract pastel paintings. They may give you some inspiration.

As always, these are just my observations. Each artist will make their own choices as they work towards mastery.

02-17-2017, 07:37 PM
Thanks for taking the time to critique Peggy.
The more I look at it I think the red is a bit too much.
The shadows were added last but I'm going to leave them out.
Rather than try to correct this one I'm going
start a new one and will post it on this thread.
I'll look at that website also.

Donna T
02-18-2017, 09:06 AM
I admire what you've done with this one, Perry, especially your ability to make the shapes and the arrangement of shapes the subject. One thing that you might consider altering is the shape of the dark rectangle in the background. Its slanted edge distracts a bit from the regular geometry of the other shapes, at least to my eyes. Your work reminds me so much of the great still lifes by Giorgio Morandi (https://www.google.com/search?q=morandi+paintings&biw=1333&bih=600&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi0kIeT5ZnSAhVFYyYKHZBlDawQ_AUIBigB). Perhaps his use of background shapes and how they affect the objects in his work might be of interest.

02-19-2017, 12:53 PM
Thanks Donna, I'm going to scrap the whole layout
of this one and start anew. It's funny, when I did the thumbnail
for this one it looked fine but the finished product
didn't turn out so good. I think that dark area and lines
are a distraction. I probably should have let it set
a few days and studied It. Live and learn.
I don't think abstract is my thing.