View Full Version : Fishy

WC Gipsy
01-15-2008, 01:34 AM
What have I done right? What have I done wrong?

'sposed to be a trout, and a lemon. About 8"x5"

The lemon's too big, methinks. I don't like the speckle on the trout, not subtle enough.

The colours are a bit off. Tried balancing them in GIMP, but still seems a tad on the blue side. Took a photo, as straight scanning kills everything.

Cheers, and thanks :)

01-15-2008, 05:15 AM
Not a great deal wrong with the technique, perhaps th main problem is the uninteresting composition. A fish painting would be OK, but with the lemon it would be better to incorporate other kitchen features such a a knife, cutting board etc in a more interesting arrangement.


WC Gipsy
01-15-2008, 05:59 AM
Thanks Doug, I appreciate the feedback. I don't "see" how I could add a knife in there, but I like the idea.

01-15-2008, 06:51 AM
Hi Nic,

I like your subject matter, but it looks very light in values. Don't trout have more of that pinky tone around their stomach area? Are you using a reference photo, if so, can you show it to us? That would help us help you better
I like Doug's suggestion of a cutting board under the fish and the lemon. It would add another color and give a third element in the painting as well.

You could run the knife at a diagonal in the upper left quadrant (it wouldn't have to be a BIG knife ;) ) if you want to put that in.

I've moved this thread to the Studio because the Guidelines say:
are you stuck and don't know where to go with a painting?
and that kind of fit your post.


WC Gipsy
01-15-2008, 03:02 PM
Hullo Sylvia,

Unfortunately, the subject matter was eaten briefly after this was done!!! Though it is a bit light in value. I have been considering glazing over with some more red, yes. Putting a cutting board under the fish, now, that's an idea :) Of course as I was a chef for 14 years, all my knives *and* cutting boards are oversized, so it will go against the grain to add it to the fish, limited by the paper size. But then I don't have to put the ENTIRE board on paper, it could be just part of it continuing off paper, same for the knife, could be just part of the handle showing up :)

Now, there's a thought. I work with a lot of small paper, but as a chef I like "elbow room" on my cutting board. I suspect that as I paint more I'll "graduate" to larger paper :D

No worries on moving to Studio. I hesitated between Studio and where it was, but didn't think it was worthy of studio, and I "needed help" ;)

01-15-2008, 03:37 PM
Now you're cooking on all burners. Groan! ;)

I like the idea of having parts of the elements go off the edges of the paper. Do show us any revisions if you make them.

Or, you could go out and get another trout to use as a model before you cook it and eat it. Truite Almondine anyone?


01-15-2008, 06:49 PM
I like your light touch. You've got some dark shadow areas that work & the reflection on the lemon is nice. What about some kind of diagonal line across the top left to maybe hint at a table, cutting board, etc and add a little interest to that area? Just a thought.

01-15-2008, 11:35 PM
Setting up a still life is a challenge unto itself!! Kudos to you for this attempt...

Generally speaking, odd numbers of things are more visually appealing than even numbers... I don't know whythis is... it just IS...

Allowing your objects to connect with one another will help lead your viewers through your composition... As the artist, it's your job to tell a pictoral story and placement of your objects is one of your tools in doing that. Placing objects in the *sweet spot* or creating an *S* path with them are a couple of examples of placement.

Planning your colour and values, once you decided on a pleasing arrangement of your odd numbered elements is your next part of the planning process...

So... had you wanted to tell the story about this fish... you might have placed it on a plate, with the lemon cut into wedges and a knife leaning against or on the plate... Your light source identified, the strong shadows would have connected all the elements... and while most of the elements are warm in colour, you could introduce a cool colour for interest... going back and reading other comments, I see that Doug and Sylvia are following the same train of thought... :)

WC Gipsy
01-15-2008, 11:54 PM
Thanks Char, I must admit, I wasn't really thinking composition when I started this :) I thought about just doing a fish. Started with wanting to see what would happen with glazing :) then I had the fish, and I thought "hmmmm, empty". So added the lemon. It is an afterthought, and it obviously shows ;)

I *will* get back to this one, hafta figure exactly what I'll do with it though :)

01-16-2008, 04:25 AM
I like Char's suggestion for a composition.


WC Gipsy
01-16-2008, 05:12 AM
Doug, I like the idea as well :)

Generally speaking, odd numbers of things are more visually appealing than even numbers... I don't know whythis is... it just IS...

Char, had forgotten to say that in presenting food on a plate, chefs also tend to go for odd numbers. Then of course when you do a bonsai forest, you aim for odd numbers as well... Thanks for reminding me :)