View Full Version : still life

09-11-1999, 12:51 AM
This is a 12x16 oil on canvas. It's the one and only still life I've ever done. It was a project in my one painting art class a while back. I'm considering working on it to make it a 'real' painting. Do you think it's worth fixing up? If so, what do you think it needs?


A larger image is available at http://members.home.com/rrrobinson/art/still1.gif

Thanks again! It's great to have a place you can ask artists their opinions on your work!


09-11-1999, 02:29 PM
without making wholesale changes,,,,,the way you have the objects lit is different from the direction of the hilites and shadow. you have them lit from a side light source, but the hilites and shadow indicate right but slightly in front. so, light them "fuller". while they all will lose a little color strength/lightness as their edges curve, it'll be more evident on the lemon because of its lightness. you don't see much reflected light from the apples onto the lemon because the apples are dark so they won't bounce much light back,AND they are behind the lemon so you wouldn't see much reflected light anyway,,,,,so you're ok with how you've done that. i'd use a different shape of hilite on each apple. what you have is a little redundant.
ceramic is hard so you'd want a crisper harder hilite on the cup. the cup rim light is ok,,,it's that small round spot hilight i'm talking about. you have kind of an extended white-ish hilight there. make it cleaner and harder. to be picky,,, the hilite on the handle should be higher to match the other hilites.
just the slightest suggestion of reflected light on the apple from the table cloth. slight because you haven't painted an intense light source, and the cloth is not strong in color. so it won't bounce off much light.
the cast shadow of the cup is a straight line tangent to where its form shadow starts, not slightly indented as you have it.
BTW...WAYS TO MAKE A STRONGER LIGHT SOURCE... brighter objects, more reflected light, lighter cloth, and harder cast shadows.
BTW,,,,A GOOD WAY TO CHECK YOUR COMPOSITION...turn your painting upside down. this allows you to see the artwork abstractly,,,,as all the basic elements of art , color management, placement of objects and value( light and dark) become obvious, uncluttered by the rationality of the objects one paints. check your lion this way and see if you like the composition.......milt

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited 09-11-99).]

Drew Davis
09-12-1999, 02:46 PM
I'd suggest some motion in the background, including the table. Try a gradient in color or value (or both). You could help establish the light by running the gradient light-to-dark right-to-left on the tablecloth, and the opposite on the back wall. Also, you might lower the value of the background even more. Looks like a good chance to have some fun with glazing.

Minor compositional nits: the wrinkles on the tablecloth lead off into absolutely nowhere, but if you can manage the movement in the background, it should carry you back across to the blue mug. I could wish that mug were just a little bit higher/further back, but it's not worth trying to move it at this stage.

The painting seems to be all about those bright primary colors, so you might even want to cheat on their behalf a bit. If this be color, make the most of it. Tie the objects together a little more by bouncing their local colors off their neighbors, and off the table. Imagine even that they aren't just reflecting light, but giving off some color of their own, and get some of that color into the cast shadows, too. Dark, but darks with individual color.
At the extreme, you can even have the color sort of permeate into the air outside the object, which makes them look practically radioactive.

10-14-1999, 04:52 PM

There's something wrong with the composition. The objects in the left can not be balanced with a few folderss in the rights. I had a desire to move the objects to the right.
Then the choice og cloths does not seem very good. Red apples look more attractive on the green(green-bluish) fabric. The color of the background wall should be different too and obviously darker to stress the depth of the work (brown with small amounts of red and green, may be).
If we take the values of the objects, I think they are all right, except for the lemon, the dark side of which is not dark enough. The left side of the cloth on the table is too light compared to the right side, the side of the light source. The closer it is to the background wall, the darker it should be.
As for the color saturation, it's O.K. with the objects, but the foreground and background do not match them. The highlight on the lemon should be brighter, as it's closer to the source of light. The lemon should be slightly lighter than the cloth (though in life, may be, it is not).
As for the form, the apples and lemon seem to be too round, but in fact they are not round at all. The form of the cup is wrong. It's floating to the right.
As for the color, I don't see any supplementary colors in the shades of the objects - green in the apples' shades and violet in the lemon's shade.(may be, because it's a digital picture).