View Full Version : Still Life with soup spoon

08-21-2008, 03:56 AM

Title: Still Life with soup spoon
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16 x 12 inches
Allow digital alterations?: No, please :)

I should have bought a piece of board the right size for this, at least if I had taken it seriously. I feel as it that has affected my whole attitude and have been fighting a that will do sort of thing. Anyway if you think the outlines of those objects aren't quite right just know I've repainted them enough times. Maybe I'd need to do a good drawing and transfer to the canvas.<br><br>You'll see I've put that nice decorative vase in the background, which is probably wrong. In fact my real objective here is to see how will I can paint the objects in a certain light. I've had problems handling the dark paint in certain places.

Anything, but please bear in mind my last comment above.

Edit: looking at it now I probably should have added a bit more lighter paint, a touch of smooth highlight to the pot.

thomas w
08-21-2008, 07:23 AM
Nice rich colors, I especially like the vase - I can almost imagine it in reality.
Thomas W

08-21-2008, 08:06 AM
When I opened it, I experienced the wow emotion. Because of the color balance. I'm also generally a fan of enlivening spaces with swirls of color and you have done it beautifully, particularly in the foreground.

I agree with you about highlights on the vase.

The spoon is painted well but it's an odd choice, I feel, for the composition in that it sits up on a flat base. The shadow's probably a bit heavy under the aforementioned spoon.

The only drafting mistake that I see is that the opening of the vase droops forward and to the right. It's like the vase has a fat lip!

I was going to pop a photoshop and put in a diameter line to show the droop but noticed that you do not allow digital manipulation. I've always been gently surprised that that is an issue with some artists. Why wouldn't you want to see photoshops if it helps better critique the work? Perhaps Dana can explain the history of putting that choice into the post form, if she sees this.

08-21-2008, 08:54 AM
Thanks Thomas.

tg, please feel welcome to manip this one. I agree about the rim of the pot. In part it is the shadow thickening to the left but I haven't painted it properly.

08-21-2008, 09:32 AM
Beautiful work on this, I love the choice of subject and the colors.

08-21-2008, 01:51 PM
What a wonderful piece. The blue vase is excellent. This is such a good piece it would be a shame to leave the elipse at the top of the red vase incorrect. It's the only glaring perspective error I see. I can appreciate how hard you worked on this, but please put in the extra effort for that one elipse. This piece warrants, no demands, that you fix this :)

Excellent background and foreground. I'm always torn on what to do in background/foregrounds, excellent.

08-21-2008, 02:43 PM
It definitely had the “wow” effect on me! The color harmony you have created is fascinating and so successful. It was only upon further reflection that I noticed the drawing error in the pot in the foreground, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to fix (I think?) I actually really enjoy the spoon and the line in creates bringing the viewer back into the painting. My favorite element is the decorative vase with the gold on the inside—painting gold is so difficult and you’ve done it beautifully. Great painting!

08-21-2008, 04:01 PM
Nicely done, Mikey.

This is unsual, in that the light is flowing right to left, but the flow of vision seems to be left to right.

I downloaded it and flipped it horizontally, and it seemed to be more settled that way, but may unsettled is better.

While you're fixing ellipses (they can be maddedning), one of the gold bands on the blue vase looks a bit off.

08-22-2008, 12:37 AM
Mikey, what a tricky composition you have presented us with! I like it! I do however find myself feeling that the larger pot is out of its element. The oriental spoon with the blue ceramic style vase pair up nicely but the large pot seems to be earthenware. It intrudes from a different culture and time? I did have a collection of oriental teapots done in this natural red earth. But I can see an oriental serving bowl or such that goes with the porcelain spoon. This is an intrusion of sorts on my part. An artist will choose for himself what he will paint.How clever of Bill to notice that opposition of forces in reading the painting! The physiological norm is from left to right.

08-22-2008, 02:32 AM
Many thanks Continental.

Tony, I take your comments as a considerable compliment. Yes I will correct the ellipse.

Thanks tali.

Bill, it is actually something I was never taught, although I usually place objects on the computer monitor which coincidentally gives me left to right lighting. Unfortunately the at seems to think it his her territory.

Corby, I quite agree. I just don't have a collection of Chinese things. The spoon was bought for a little over 50 pence new in the Birmingham Chinese quarter. Most of my little collection comes from charity shops.

08-22-2008, 12:51 PM
Hi Mikey. What makes the difference between a circle and an ellipse is the angle of which we view it 3 dimensionally. When two ellipses are involved (in this case the vase) the lower of the two will always be a little wider than the uppermost. I you take a clear glass and observe the lower ellipse when the upper rim is at eye level (drawn as a line segment) the lower will be a little more open. As you move the cup upward and observe the bottom rim at eye level the upper ellipse will open away and appear slightly rounded at the top thus making the upper more open. Hope this helps.


08-22-2008, 01:01 PM
The physiological norm is from left to right.

So I’m feeling a little feisty today but I hope all who read this understand this is truly all in good fun, and I’ll make a stab at what I want to say without offending. I’ll dare to contradict by saying that I’m of the opinion that the only reason that it’s considered “the norm” is because western culture grew up reading that way. There are just a few million that did not grow up reading in that direction, and to them everyone else has got it backwards or reversed:D , though I agree that in this painting there are opposing light source/eye movement forces—it shakes things up a little.

08-22-2008, 01:13 PM
No offense meant or taken on my part. Manifestly I was referring to western culture. There are of course much older and different visual modes when it comes to reading what is written. The oldest being Hebrew and the various other forms of Oriental language. I wonder if the perusal of real objects in real life are approached in the same way as the written word?...I don't know...

08-22-2008, 01:39 PM
Ah that's it tali, I don't fit in with western culture.

Harry, yes thanks. That ceramic is bad.

Corby, it is quite hard to even imagine you offending anybody. I am quite good it at times, especially when I try not to. There may even be a symbolic message here. I go to China and may be regarded as half Chinese.

08-22-2008, 03:33 PM
I wonder if the perusal of real objects in real life are approached in the same way as the written word?...I don't know...
Don't you think so? It makes sense to me. I tend to be drawn to "opposite" lighting, my avatar is reversed from the original...:wink2:

And Mikey, do you think any "real" artist fits in anywhere? At times I suspect “we” (myself included only when I feel “real”) are a different breed:evil: .

08-22-2008, 05:00 PM
tali, I think creative have original ideas which a lot of people are not comfortable with. We often have conflict or confusion and it is our own need for a resolution that is the driving force. We hope to find wholeness as we paint.