View Full Version : Tomatoes and Garlic

04-14-2005, 05:28 PM
Hello Everyone,
I'm stuck... I need help!!
This is my latest painting.
I'm not sure about the tablecloth color, but I think I am commited to it at this point because I took that color up into the background a bit. And...I can live with it. I think I need to enlarge the knife a bit. I was working with a very limited palet so I did order more paint...I was trying to darken up the tablecloth a bit and put a glaze of yellow ochre on it.. it makes the tablecloth look dirty, which in my house might just be the case! :D
I got some new paints today. I'm thinking of using paynes gray on the tablecloth and maybe daveys gray on the green checked cloth for shadows. I think I am pretty happy with the tomatoes at this point and it is a good thing because I think the ones I am using for a set up are going to start rotting soon if I don't get this painting finished! How's the garlic look to you all?

All comments welcome!
Thanks, marsva aka Marsha

04-14-2005, 06:28 PM
It is oil on canvas
size 18"x24"
Thanks :D

04-15-2005, 05:10 PM
:D I like this a lot, the tomatoes and garlic sit there like judges and the knife pointing at the viewer. Id already be pretty happy with it, the only thing that looks unfinished to me is the blue tablecloth, it is looks a bit uncertain. :clap:

04-15-2005, 05:59 PM
Hi, and thanks... I'm still at it.
In fact I actually have some time and the a paints I wanted...all except the tube of Aliz crimum back ordered.
I used Paynes Gray ( a blue gray ) to get the table cloth to the right value and dull it down to my taste. And a little Daveys gray on the shadows on the green checked table cloth. I also added a glaze of yellow ochre to all of the white surfaces...deeper in the folds. And I also added some daveys gray glaze to all the folds in the basket cloth. Oh yeah... I added a glaze of paynes gray to the back right panel in the background...which I am not happy with and will wash it wih burnt siena when it dries.. but it seems to have gotten the value more to my satisfactory. I added burnt siena to the background panel on the left and I like it better... I think maybe the whole backgrond was too light and it needed dakening and warming.
A good friend of mine says to me... regarding painting "You make the cake and then you work from there." I find working with the glazed shadows and adjusting the values is the decoration on the cake. I just wish I really had the formula!!! Tell me what you think...oh and I did lenghthen the knife, but have to wait for it to dry to finish it... I also added the shadow to the knife.
Sooooo... should I paint tonight...or sleep???? :p

04-15-2005, 06:12 PM
Id take sleep, unless you have a job all day its anyway a fat long Saturday tomorrow. Did u forget to post the updated pic in your last post? :eek:

04-15-2005, 06:53 PM
Here is the picture I forgot to attach. :D

04-15-2005, 07:37 PM
Hi - I've merged the 2 threads, and am doing a bit of tidy-up on the result :)


04-15-2005, 07:42 PM
Thank you Dave! :wave:

04-15-2005, 07:47 PM
I think this is coming along well, darkening the background a little has helped - personally, I think you could make it more dramatic (if that's what you want to do!) by pushing the contrasts further.


04-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Darker??? With what color paint?
I always have a terrible time with backgrounds and the palet to use with a particular painting. I added lots of red to that background as I darkened it. I use burnt seinna. What would you suggest?
Thanks so much for your interest, I am really having fun with this painting.
Now that I can confront it again!!! LOL

Anita Murphy
04-15-2005, 08:07 PM
Nothing like tomatoes and garlic! MMMMMMMM!! Agree with Dave about pushing the contrasts. Coming on nicely - well done.

04-15-2005, 08:34 PM
Where's your lighting coming from? What time of day is it, is it sunny, or overcast? There's a suggestion that the lighting's somewhat from the right, but it's quite diffuse - you could take this all the way to being "Caravaggio-esque" :p if you wanted to (do you want a photoshop demo?)

I've never been a fan of Davey's or Payne's grey, personally - I use ivory black, (or sometimes lamp black when I want the opacity), and darks mixed from burnt sienna or burnt umber and ultramarine.


04-15-2005, 09:05 PM
the tomatoes are garlic are excellent. Just perfect!

Something funny seems to be going on with the front end of the table. it looks almost like the table is round until you get to the front, and then there is a corner to the table that droops to the floor. this image trickery is enchaced by the cutting board. It looks like the cutting board is trying to fall to the floor.

I can't see the piece as I'm here typing, but I'm wondering if you need a bit of shadow along the front of the fabric under the cutting board to suggest where it crosses the edge of the table, and maybe reshape the curve of the table across the front.

It also seems that the shutters are curving downward at the outer edges of the painting. almost like you worked from a photo taken through a wide angle lense.

Now watch, I'll go back and look again and disagree with myself.

Dont give up on this one. the tomatoes and garlic are so wonderful!!!

04-15-2005, 09:09 PM
Please a photoshop demo!
And yes ...the light is everywhere. I have it side lite from the right, but my studio is flooded with light and I didn't want to only paint in the dark..so every time I paint this it has way to much light on it.
Looking forward to your photoshop inhancement! :clap:

04-16-2005, 09:27 AM
Well, I'm not sure that it's an enhancement, just a different take on the possibilities :)

Here's the sort of way I might take it if it was my painting, trying to get the sense that they're illuminated by a shaft of light:



04-16-2005, 12:28 PM
T. I agree the front of that table and table cloth need some work. Maybe some fine shading where it drops off the table is the answer. I wish I had had a smaller canvas to do this painting on...I am considering taking it off and putting it on a smaller one and loosing that front corner of the table.

I love it darkened up like that and it really does help to concentrate the light source. What color paint would use to darken it up to what you have done with Photoshop?

Too bad I have to do backgrounds to paint a painting...I really just wanted to paint the tomatoes and garlic in the basket!! :D

I decided to sleep last night instead of paint...I have to work today but hopefully will get some more time to paint later this afternoon.
Beautiful spring day here today...I really should be in the garden!

04-16-2005, 05:19 PM
I love it darkened up like that and it really does help to concentrate the light source. What color paint would use to darken it up to what you have done with Photoshop?

Glad you liked the idea :) - Some of it could be achieved by glazing mixes of various proportions of burnt sienna and french ultramarine. I also pushed the lights in a few areas, and for those, I'd be inclined to paint opaquely - I'd also look for colours in the light bouncing around between the objects, and try to go for near-whites taking this into account.


04-16-2005, 08:52 PM

You know, I feel just the same way about several paintings that I've got going but not finished. i want to just cut the bad bits out and be done. Honestly, I don't think you should do thhat here. You can tweak the bits that need help. It really is a wonderful painting. Go on. I have faith in you.

04-19-2005, 05:04 PM
Here it is so far... not finished, but darkened it up quite alot. It was great too, because I looked at your "adjusted" photo shop pic and I really could see every thing this painting needed and was able to finally move on with it.
I only looked at your picture one time until I was ready to post this step and was almost unalbe to tell one from the other! I have darkened up other areas at the same time, and I did lighten up some highlights in the checked tablecloth.
Now...If only I can find maybe two more sessions to paint..maybe a total of 5 hours... I wonder if I could complete it....I think I can!!! Thanks so much...this is fun and also fun to watch the progress of other paintings that are happening. I learn so much from this forum.
Happy Painting... let me know what you think so far... any advise or comments is always welcome.
:wave: mars 8 )

04-19-2005, 07:21 PM
Punching up the contrasts has really given this piece some atmosphere...You're doing great!

04-23-2005, 02:38 PM
Did I say something like "I needed about 5 more hours/ 2 sessions to finish this?" LOL Well...I don't know about that, but it is almost done at this point I think!
I still want to do some more shadowing in the green checked table cloth, and am not sure what to do about that part that hangs over the edge...shadow or no shadow? I played around with the shape some to give it more of a draped over the edge look.

I want to thank you all for your help! This is really fun and so helpful.
You are all great.
I started another painting last night, I took a picture of it as a sketch just as I was starting to put the washes on the canvas. It is from a photo of two sister lady friends of mine in beach chairs at the river. I did a water color from the photo years ago and was never that thrilled with it, but kept the photo in hopes of doing another painting someday...I guess the day has come!!
Thanks again everyone!

04-23-2005, 08:46 PM
Looking fantastic Marsva!

Your other picture sounds great too...Is there some where I can view it in it's first stages?

Anita Murphy
04-23-2005, 11:05 PM
You've done a wonderful job - well done!

04-28-2005, 02:32 PM
Thank you for all your help and encouragement!
It's finished!!
I did the "Sisters" painting over the weekend and then went back and finished Garlic and Tomatoes last evening.

Thanks again and Happy Painting! :wave:

04-28-2005, 03:18 PM
Wonderful finish! :clap:

04-28-2005, 03:25 PM
Thanks Nitsa!
I sent you a private message, but to be honest, I'm not too sure how that works so I will repeat myself here.
You were interested in seeing the early stages of the next painting I was working on. It is all posted here in WIP under the Title "Sisters".