View Full Version : Look at me! Grade me! Evaluate and rank me! I'm good, good, good and oh so smart!

03-26-2018, 08:05 PM
Hello all... this is my first post so be gentle please lol

These are my first two paintings, same subject obviously. I abandoned both be cause I was not completely happy with where they were going. There are parts I like in each but just wasnít totally sold on the product as a whole, and well I tend to give up when things arenít going my way (Iím working on that issue though!)

The left is my second attempt, the right being the first. This was a tutorial on willkempartschool.com using a limited palette... burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and titanium white.

Anyway... Iím curious those of you more experienced what do you think works? What doesnít work? Iím not emotionally attached to these so do your worst lol

Thanks in advance!


03-27-2018, 08:57 AM
These are promising. It's not unusual for paintings to go through an ugly phase and it's not unusual to make corrections to paintings on the way to the finished product. Some people like to push through those phases, but there's nothing wrong with abandoning a work if there's nothing more to be learned from it.

A lot can be done with Ult. blue and burnt sienna + T. white. Sometimes I like to make paintings with just those colors.

Work small in the beginning and use nice big brushes so you don't fuss over a lot of details.

Keep painting.

03-27-2018, 09:28 AM
Hi Bob. I like the one on the right better, it seems to have more paint on it, looks more finished. Maybe the line between the light and dark on the pitcher could be a bit more blended. Looks like you gave up before finishing the table.

I don't know what the lesson told you but if I were to do this I would paint the whole background first, then paint the pitcher over it. Or at least overlap the background. Looks more natural that way.

I think the main thing you need to work on is not giving up. You have some good stuff going on there.

03-27-2018, 10:40 AM
Hi Bob:
Well, they both have something going for them. I like both of them.
No. 2 on right attracts the eye better, since it has more strong, bold contrast.

HOWEVER! I like the softness of No. 1 on the left - it is atmospheric and it looks like a more sensitive portrayal of the subject. I see you took extra care with the rounded forms at bottom of pot, reflected lights, and variety in the pot's shadow that you see with your eye. The dark area on pot no. 2 looks flat to me, in no. 1 it is not, but subtle and varied.

No 2 on the right, i agree though, looks more "finished". It's a complicated juggle of many factors in painting, and so I hope you will keep at it, takes time and practice.

The only thing that doesn't work I suppose, is the "glowing" white area around pot no. 1. Looks kind of nuclear, remember not to make any shapes that (unintentionally) look like an outline of some sort, esp. on the bottom of anything (after many years of painting, I still do that from time to time).

Hope this helps, You're doing well! Those colors are good to play around with values and tone, and so - you go!

Charlie's Mum
03-27-2018, 11:11 AM
Welcome to the forum Bob, and to painting.:)

Both of these have promise - they're good attempts for a first, really good try!

1 - learn to observe - that means look, look, look and look again before drawing or painting!
e.g. - notice how the base of the pot in the first is a much better ellipse and more natural looking than the 2nd one.

Notice how the light strikes pot and handle, again better in the left one.

Squint your eyes and study the tonal value - the darkest white is probably the same tone as the dark shadow of the brown - if your tones are correct, colour doesn't matter!

Blending with acrylics is difficult but you've done it beautifully on the table surface of #2 - think how you did that and apply it to the objects.

Where the dark shadow is closest to the base of the pot the change will be softer (soft edge/lost shape) - where it's lightest against the table and near the light source, it's more defined - harder (hard edge/found shape).
(There's a Paint-a Long thread in our Information Kiosk which explains Lost and Found/hard and soft edges).

In #1 you have a nice change of background tone from left to right and nice paint marks ... the table top is less good (you got fed-up with it I guess!!!!).

As Cliff said above, the colours used can be very useful - they mix nicely to give mid tones - try practising that!

We'll look out for the next lesson you do!:)

03-27-2018, 12:23 PM
I'm interested in understanding what you wanted to achieve with them? That way we can guide you better.
In my point of view man made objects must be very precise if you are aiming for realism. You have there in both issues with perspective.
Do you have a reference?

Charlie's Mum
03-27-2018, 12:42 PM
Fede - he's following an online course/class I believe.

03-27-2018, 04:59 PM
Good start and great that you want C&C.
Both are nice in there own ways, the first one you did your blending in the shape of the pots form which was a nice effect. The second one has stronger contrasts which is nice also.
Good strong forms, shadow and cast shadows.
In constructed items such as a pot don't be afraid to employ tools a ruler can be your friend, the great masters used tools all the time.
People always comment to me "Gee I can't even draw a straight line!"
My reply is "Neither can I that's what rulers are for!"

03-27-2018, 09:12 PM
Welcome to the Forum.

I like the strong lines and contrasts of the painting on the right. It has a bold presence that suggests a painting as piece of art, and not just a painting as depiction of an object. There are some good shapes going on with the right hand painting.

03-28-2018, 01:32 AM
I love Will Kemp's tutorials! He was one of the first artists I watched when I started painting. His style is often very loose, so I feel the first one probably captures more of the tutorial than the second one (though I haven't seen that particular one, I just know he often goes for a loosely blended painterly style). I like the background in the first. But the second has better contrasts. Maybe go back to the first one and darken up some of those shadows? And bring in more of the darker color to cover up the white patch by the jug. But these are really good for some first paintings, don't be hard on yourself! Maybe take what you learned from the two and the suggestions here and try a third one to post!

03-28-2018, 10:06 AM
People always comment to me "Gee I can't even draw a straight line!"
My reply is "Neither can I that's what rulers are for!"

That's what I say too. :lol:

03-28-2018, 11:15 AM
Ha! I recognize that tutorial! Will Kemp is great!

Good job!

03-28-2018, 11:29 AM
Totally agree about Will Kemp's excellent tutorials, he's got a whole slew that are free and this is one of them. Very high quality, all his free stuff, and all his articles. What a guy! That's "Will Kemp Art School" for anyone who'd like to take a look.

I remember this tutorial with the brown jug, did it myself, too.

My take away for you is a little different. I'd be very careful about really paying attention while doing something that appears at first very simple. The surface the jug is on, and the background are as important as the jug ~ though they can be very simple in their design. What do we imagine the lighting is on the jug and what do we imagine the jug is made of? How do we convey the jug's glaze (shine)? I remember loosing the ellipse while I was painting! That was another lesson for me. Little details, getting that thin rim with its much higher value (fussing on that was why I lost the shape). The overall shape and symmetry of the jug, is it still there? The overall lighting scheme between the brown glazed jug, its white rim and interior, its shadow inside the jug, the jug's shadow side versus lit side and how that's conveyed too in terms of the lighting scheme and how that lighting scheme is falling on the table and the back wall.

You may not wish to do a third, but I'd suggest thinking about some things here and in other posts then watching the videos again with these things in mind ~ imagination painting along :)

It's a deceptively simple at first glance, the tutorial, and there's lots going on. Great effort!