View Full Version : Old Blue Cup

02-17-2005, 11:41 AM
I was cleaning my cupboards and pricing some old stuff up to sell in the antique shop. When I cam across this neat old footed flow blue cup I thought I can't sell it until I paint it! :D So...here's a little still life. It is about 8x10 on something. It is was a nice big grey sheet mixed in with some Canson I bought a while ago. It is not Canson though and I don't know what it is. I obviously thought I would try something new and never used it. Doh! The thing is, I like it! It is sort of like Canson but not exactly...it is a cross between the rough and smooth sides of Canson but seems also to take more layers. I'm impressed with it.
This still needs work...the footed cup is looking a little off, especially at the top. And it is still looknig a little flat to me, although it has come a long way. The grapes need more definition I think. ANd I need to extend the green stripe there between the 2 pieces and add a bit of a second stripe.
I also am havnig a little trouble with the cloth behind the cups. In fact, the table goes all the way back there and it shold be lying flat. It looks to me like it is foldedup behind the cups...not sure if that matters or not. I haven't decided.
And the table edge looks a bit curvy to me. Sort of interesting but not quite what I had in mind.
Anyhow, this is just a simple little something...I am not going to make myself too crazy with it but any C&C is welcome. You guys always see stuff I miss...and then some!


02-17-2005, 12:34 PM
I already really like the look of this Sandy ..... love the colours.... I think I would hang on to that cup a while, its really interesting, nice colours and shape... and a good addition for Still Lifes.... the only thing that bothers me at this stage is the material at the back on the right and how it seems to slope..... I know you said you arent going to work too much on this, but I sure do hope you do ..... would loved to see this worked, cup and bowl, grapes brought out alot more.. I think you would really be pleased with the outcome..... perhaps define and add more shadows......... just my thoughts..... but will keep my eye on this one to see what you do

nice works, like it

02-17-2005, 12:42 PM
material at the back on the right and how it seems to slope

You mean how it goes up and off the page? I don't think I llike that either...thoe whole back is not quite right. If the table goes back as far as it is supposed to then you would see more on the left...hmmmm....how did I do that? Well, long story but I know how I did that. :D Anyhow, I have to decide how to handle it. Maybe bring it down...sort of softly falling downward.

Thanks for the encouragement, Dawn. I didn't mean I am done, just that....well, not quite sure what I meant! :D Somehow because it is not on Wallis or Art Spectrum I don't take it as seriously but that is kind of stupid! I set out to do a quickie...but I although it has issues I am not really displeased with how it is going...and would like to improve on it.

I like the cup too.....but if you saw how much junk I have here! :D AS an antiques dealer/collector, I always have more than enough for still life set ups. Actually, I know I am in trouble with my antique business when I am supposedly out buying for resale and I find myself thinking how nice it would be to paint something...and then maybe I can sell it and get my money back! :D Great...but you don't make much money selling that way! Oh well!


Mikki Petersen
02-17-2005, 01:23 PM
Sandy, how nice it must be to have a cabinet full of interesting things to paint. I'm with Dawn in that I would really like to see you develop this further. The cup, bowl and grapes and well set. The table edge is slightly tilted and the background cloth adds to that giving the impression everything is about to slide off the table. Easy fix to a painting well worth finishing.


02-17-2005, 01:45 PM
Thanks, Mikki. I'll work on it some more when we get back from Maine.

But I just looked again on screen and Wow! It is falling off the page! :D I think it may have been scanned slightly crooked but mostly I think I messed up a little bit here and there and it all added up and somehow is magnified on the screen here....I better fix it soon though or it is gonig to slide onto the floor and it would be a shame to have such an ancient cup be broken! :D

Thanks...what would I do whithout you all? Probably fall down! :D


02-17-2005, 01:56 PM
Im back again :) ........ Good, you are going to work on this more :clap: .... its gonna be great..... can feel it in my water :eek: :)
.... what about perhaps something like this..... put in a line for the table top...... and perhaps hint a fold in the cloth at the back.....


02-17-2005, 01:59 PM
.. and know what you are saying about the paper.... sometimes idle a piece not expecting much, and then it starts to develope into 'something' and then you wish.. now why didnt I use better paper :p :D

Mikki Petersen
02-17-2005, 02:01 PM
Sandy, if you look at the table line (front) in relation to the cup, the table is tilting...the cup is perfectly vertical. Dawn's addition of a break line in the back helps the composition significantly, too.

Have fun in Maine!

02-17-2005, 02:08 PM
am still here lol ..... agree with Mikki ....... and looking at the front edge.. can easily adjust... think what this is throwing this out more is the angle of the lines of the chequers... the cloth seems to be sticking out forward, whereas make them drop at the table edge

.... yup and enjoy

02-17-2005, 02:39 PM
You didn't really think I would leave it alone, did you? :D YOu ladies know me better than that. I had a few minutes...now huby is home and expecting us to leave...but here is what I did. Still not happy with the front of the cloth but I think if I curve the lines the other way it may help...you are right that the checks are thwoing it off, Dawn. And I like the way you did the table end line...I may add that...but I do have to be going...I'll check on the computer when I get up there to see what else you have come up with! :D
Thanks for the help!!!



02-17-2005, 02:43 PM
Nice setup! I'll be watching this as you bring it along!

02-23-2005, 05:35 PM
Okay...I finally had some time to work on this a little more. I still haven't added a demarcation at the back of the table like Dawn suggested...I will probably do it, not sure yet.
Mostly I have been working on the drop of the cloth in the front. I think it is better but still not there yet.
This is a good case of distinguishing between what I am seeing and what I think needs to happen...the light realy falls on the front of the cloth in spots...it looks interesting, but I am afraid that if I put it in it will confuse things even more. But...I may change my mind.
I think the front edge of the table is finally straight, anyhow! :D
I am also nervous because I don't know what this paper is! It certainly is taking more abuse than Canson would but I don't know at what point I will be in trouble with it.
Anyhow....speak up...what do you see...suggestions for the front or opinions about it.
Do the grapes need more contrast? How is the cup looking?




02-23-2005, 06:14 PM
Looking good, by the way flow blue is supposed to be worth some bucks? :clap: :clap:

02-25-2005, 10:34 AM
Thanks, Gerry!

Here is where i am at. I decided that as much as it might sort of look better to put in the back of the table, it wouldn't make sense because it ends at a point that would have the cup falling off. So...good idea, but won't work. But I think the back looks better now.
I have reworked the bottom some more. I am not thrilled but I think it is more clearly falling off the table.
So guess it is speak now or forever hold your piece...or something. I am about ready to move on....then again, I'll look at it for a while and may figure out what else I need to do. But I am open to c&c...even if I don't do anything else I will learn from it..and I may take someone's advice.
Thanks for all the help and encouragement!



Of course now that I am looking at it up here I can see issues. That fold on the left when it is off the table needs to be lightened...it is very ocnfusing the way it is. I think part of the problem with this is that although the cloth does fall off the table, in fact is falls very softly and is not really differentiated as much as it should be in life...but if I want it to make sense in the painting I needed to adjust that. Hmmmm.....

02-25-2005, 12:08 PM
Well done Sandy, Ive been waiting for updates on this, indeed the material is reading alot better now .. I agree about the fold, the lines match up on both cloths... I think you can easily remedy it if you have the want to .. I am really taken with that cup :)

02-25-2005, 12:46 PM
I agree about the fold, the lines match up on both cloths

Yeah...and it does match up...even though it is folded...it makes sense in real life but I don't think it is that clear in the painting. I will think on this and see if I can make it look more realistic. And add more light to that spot too.


02-25-2005, 01:40 PM
Sandy, if you do decide to work on this a bit more, do have a look at the cup's elipses.

You are clearly looking down on the cup, because we can see into it. And if you are looking down onto the cup, then any other elipse BELOW the lip of the cup has to be even deeper. This is a classic drawing trap, so many people fall into it. Here is what I mean:


I love the quality of your pastelling in this picture, it is very painterly.


02-25-2005, 02:39 PM
Ah! Yes, Jackie. Now that you have pointed it out it is obvious...and of course now the cup doesn't look right to me! So....I guess I'll mess around with the cup some more too.
I knew I wasn't done with this! :D
Thanks for the tip...and glad you like the pastelling.
I sure wish I knew what this paper was! :D It's very nice...nice texture, hold the pastel well, and seems to take quite a bit of abuse. What else is out there that you can buy in large sheets like Canson? It is sort of a cross between Canson's 2 sides...not asa smoth as the smooth but not as rough as the rough. Interesting.
I apparently bought this a while ago figuring I would try it. It was hiding on my shelf between some other stuff. I think I'll go poke around Dakota and see if anything rings a belll! ding doh!


Mikki Petersen
02-25-2005, 04:50 PM
Sandy, this is really taking shape now. I think everything looks really good...except....the elllipse at the top of the cup is perfection and the curve of the base is pretty good but look at the spot where the cup begins to curve into the base...it's straight and flat looking. I don't know these cups but shouldn't that have some curve to it as well?

02-25-2005, 05:09 PM
Yeah, Mikki! I see that too. It is part of what Jackie was saying...funny I know it didn't start out straight but somewhere along the way I lost the curves. I need to fix them.
What would I do without you guys!!!!!


Mikki Petersen
02-25-2005, 05:14 PM
Think nothing of it! We are here to applaud, suggest and just generally mouth off... :p

02-25-2005, 05:37 PM
just generally mouth off...

:D I'll keep that in mind. :D

Really, it's funny but at this point until I post a painting and it "passes inspection" I don't consider it "done".:D


02-25-2005, 05:39 PM
I wonder if your paper is Fabriano Tiziano? that has a texture which falls somewhere between the rough and the smooth side of Canson. I like it a lot (when I am not using Wallis.)


02-25-2005, 06:54 PM
I wonder if your paper is Fabriano Tiziano?

I bet that is it...I seem to recall seeing a display of it and buying a sheet a while back. I know I had a small pad of it which I liked as well. Interesting.
Mystery solved! :D Thanks!


02-26-2005, 03:44 PM
Okay....I have spent a lot of time sitting and looking at this thing in RL and working on the painting, specifically the perspective issue. It dawned on me all of a sudden that part of the problem here, I htink, is that this cup is not round! Especially the base...it is many sided and the sides are all square...so when I am sitting and lookng at it, although there is basically an elipse at the top, there are still these two straight edges in front of me at the bottom, and then the other sides go off to the back. Not sure I am explaning it properly...but hopefuly people will get it.
I did curve up the sides a bit more, work a bit more on the elipse at the top to try to accentuate the "sides"...they are sort of like facets.
Played with the light on the fold on the left side.
The paper is beginning to fight back a bit, although I could do a little omre if I have to.
Is the cup still confusing or look wrong? I am hoping I clarified what it really looks like...but there is no curve at the base because it isn't curved...there is a bit of curve at the point where the base joins the cup...although even that is faceted too. Aiyiyi....why do I pick these things to paint? :D
Thanks again for all the help everyone!



Good...comparing it to the previous version and looking at this, I think it looks better...faceted but more curvy facets. :D

02-26-2005, 04:52 PM
This is beautiful! I love your colours and the cups are so unusual...those are keepers. :)

02-27-2005, 03:31 AM
Sandy, I know just what you mean about the base being faceted rather than round...I did actually wonder about that.

If it is faceted, can I suggest that you make sure the viewer really KNOWS it is faceted? At the moment, it is difficult to see the corners, and if we could, it would make more sense. Check the measurements carefully of the stem of the cup - height to width, perhaps it is a smidgen deeper, which would give you more room to show the "corners" of the facets.


the other thing to look at on that cup, is the perspective of the pattern, which should follow the same rule as I showed before; if the lip is an elipse, then the pattern will be eliptical too as it will follow the shape of the cup. In your pic, the pattern is almost horizontal. I have corrected it a bit to show what I mean...see my red arrow.

One other small thing worries me. Where the cloth falls over the edge of the table, you have a horizontal which cuts the image in half. So, we have, in effect, two images, a still life in the top half, and a set of simple geometric shapes in the bottom half.

Not a good balance, imho.


Easily rectified with a crop tho. (up to you where you crop - I would crop just at the bottom edge of the table, but that's me, you must do what feels right to you) and then, I think you have a beautiful little painting.

02-27-2005, 07:39 AM
Thank you so much Jackie. I am glad to see we are seeing the same problems.
Honestly, I have been trying to bring out those facets and the give more "depth" to the blue pattern on the cup but it is at the point where I am having trouble having the pastel stick...plus the areas I am tring to work are so small. Mostly I was trying to work with pastel pencil in those places since I could get a pretty fine point, but it isn't showing up well.
But..since you are reiterating what I already thought was true, I will try harder to make this work.
You are right about that blue...on the left bottom it curves up ever so slightly...and I kept doing it, thinking it was right, and then stepping back from the painting and although if you are 1/2" away from it you can see where I was doing it, when you are away from it, it just isn't showing up.Where I went over some blue with white (not really white), the blue shows through.
There are actually more facets on that bottom piece than three...and again, if you are 1/2" away with the light shining on it at the easel, you can see where I have been working on the facets...but that doesn't help the viewer. I'll try breaking off some Giraults and see if I can fine tune that better with the edge of the pastel.
Amazing how that horizon came out right smack in the center. It wasn't like that in my little sketch but somehow with a little of this being off and a little of that I blew it. It's even more annoying as I am not thrilled with how that cloth falls anyhow...so I think I'll work a bit more on the falling cloth and crop some of the lower part off.
Thanks once again for taking the time to help me out...at least at this point since it's stuff I reallly am seeing myself I feel as though I am getting somewhere. Not sure that makes sense but....:D


02-27-2005, 10:28 AM
Here's where I am at now....I am including a close up of the bottom of the cup. I think it is a bit clearer, although still not as facetedly obvious as I might like. But not sure I can get it much better. I keep going over it, then it is not quite right, and I wipe it off and do it again...I am having toruble getting the fine pastel line to go exactly where I am asking it to go!
Cropped a bit off the bottom. I think I fixed the blue pattern on the left. See what you think!


And the close up:


I think the whole painting is a tiny bit sharper than it is showing here. Not a lot though.



02-27-2005, 01:21 PM
sandy I know just what you mean by your last sentence - OF COURSE it helps to have verification of things you think yuo are seeing ...makes you realise that you are moving forward because you are seeing them.

Dont be afraid to give it a good burst of fix if it has started to object to more layers of pastel. And using pastel pencils at this stage to cover or correct is probably not a good plan, you cannot get the pastel on in thick enough strokes once the tooth is filled - best to break a soft pastel and use the chisel edge.

I think the cup is much better now. All it needs finally is a crop off the bottom. Well done you!


02-27-2005, 06:57 PM
Thanks Jackie. I think I'll let it sit for a few days and then try playing with a mat and see how I feel about it.

You are right about the pencils...at this point I mostly use them to smooth things out or even kind of move the pastel around. But in some spots I can get a bit of a dark or light line. The fine edge of a broken Girault works much better.

Thanks again for all the help!