View Full Version : Still Life with Orange Flower

05-05-2009, 09:47 PM

Title: Still Life with Orange Flower
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16X20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Hi, everyone! This is my 4th painting, based on an actual centerpiece I have at home. I like the color scheme, myself. some of the flowers worked, I think, some didn't. The drape at the upper right is actually a much richer purple than shows up on the photo. Any comments are welcome.

I have been trying to work on composition, and deliberately placed the red and orange flowers in a position of the crossing of thirds. Does it work? Any other suggestions?

05-05-2009, 09:59 PM
Your painting is really lovely. I love the quirkiness of the table, with it slightly out of whack perspective. If you didn;t intend to do that, please don't change it as it works beautifully.

I would make the orange flower larger. Your title suggests that this flower is the star of the show so make her so. :-)

Apart from the orange flower, this is perfect to me!!!

05-05-2009, 10:01 PM
Hi... Thank you for sharing your painting. I think the choice of colors and execution are beautiful. Good work. If I were to change anything, it would be the curtain. The curtain to the right seems to be a major focal point. The eyes are drawn to it. Maybe more highlights in the flowers to make them pop, and somehow muting the curtain a bit. Look at some of David A Leffel's work online. His work is "not" on this site. He does portraiture as well as still-life. His colors are not bold like yours are (I love your bold colors), but his use of light is amazing.

05-05-2009, 10:01 PM
Hi, again. Also, FYI, I wish I could jump on here more often--I know I am not around that much. I have a full-time job and domestic tasks, so I don't get to paint or play on the computer as much as I would like. But it is still fun when I can! Thank you all for your help.

05-05-2009, 10:06 PM
You're doing well. The composition works nicely and you're drawing and painting well.
I'll suggest some thing to look at in future paintings
-Try to let the viewer have a clear sense of the light flow. All of your white blooms are the same value and temperature. Vary the values and temperatures to indicate light and shade areas. Don't be afaid to go overboard. Darken the darks and lighten the lights till it hurts your eyes.

05-05-2009, 10:43 PM
you are doing well with your study. Some comments that may be helpful.

1. we are told to place our flowers so that we do not see them all from the front view. You have made a bow of obedience to this by turning one of your daisies with its back toward us. This is good but it is only a token recognition, do it much more. A nice arrangement done in the round (too be viewed from all sides) will have many blossoms with their backs and sides toward us.

2. you are exhibiting the reluctance of the beginner to paint over the top of something that you are pleased with. That results in, as here a grouping of items that do not even touch one another and so there are uninteresting blanks or gaps between. Fill those gaps in, let those flowers overlap one another until your arrangement is lush and full and then...

3. the matter of the "golden mean'. I have demonstrated it as you have used it here. Notice that there are four 'hot spots' where the divisions of thirds lines cross. These are the ultimate placements for your focal point. If you tried using all four in one painting you would no doubt say: "well this does not work, it looks unnatural and they cancel each other out" Something different happens when you use two on the diagonal as you have here. Visually they vibrate and each clamors for attention! It only works as a grabber of the eye for the focal point if you use any one of the four.


This second image is just a rough demo of what I mean about filling your flower arrangement out and showing what happens if you choose just the one 'hot spot' for your focal point. The eye has no problem staying put with it.... there are other things to learn that will improve your work as you move along but Maybe these will be useful for this time...


While I have been working with this the friends have mentioned some of those other things! Just, keep up the good work!