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Old 12-09-2017, 07:13 PM
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Grotius Grotius is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

I agree, Annie, that the composition is a bit too predictable. As you say, an extra object on the right might help. I’m open to moving stuff around too. I’m still playing with it; my underpainting keeps changing. ;-)

Honestly, I don’t remember where I got that little pot. Maybe while antiquing? It’s pretty old, and it has a distinctive look. I have a bunch of other objects like that. They’re all on my still life bucket-list!
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:56 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Hi all!

Geoff, that looks like a nice still life. I'll comment later, a bit tired today but hey good news everyone, I painted something!

I did it indoor plein air style why? Well, you see, it was actually snowing on my birthday today!!! Best gift ever because it's super rare for NL to have any snow - say 1 or 2 times a year? Maybe never (we didn't have any last two years). So, I did what I could, I painted as fast as I can because I don't know how long it'll last. In end, it started raining ruining my view and the snow was starting to melt so I was forced to call it done.

Oh well, at least I did *something* even though the result was rather disappointing. "First Attempt with Winter Scene" 24x18cm canvas panel.
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Last edited by DMArtist7 : 12-10-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:15 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

DMA, happy birthday! What a nice birthday gift -- snow! I don't think the painting is disappointing at all. It's a really charming scene. Interestingly, my eye is inexorably drawn to the figure in the scene, which is a good thing. But also the darker values in the foreground snow, and the snow-covered cars and trees -- these things all add charm.

I watched a video by James Gurney in which he had a computer track eye movements over paintings. Viewers invariably are drawn to human figures. Their eyes rest there and keep coming back. Gurney's video also seemed to cast doubt on some of the traditional tenets of composition, like the idea that a painting "leads the eye" in a particular direction. Viewers actually dart around from one spot to another, like grasshoppers or crickets. Anyway, this is one reason I put more figures in my landscapes these days.

Congratulations on your birthday and a delightful picture to celebrate with.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:39 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotius
I agree, Annie, that the composition is a bit too predictable. As you say, an extra object on the right might help. I’m open to moving stuff around too. I’m still playing with it; my underpainting keeps changing. ;-)

Honestly, I don’t remember where I got that little pot. Maybe while antiquing? It’s pretty old, and it has a distinctive look. I have a bunch of other objects like that. They’re all on my still life bucket-list!
Geoff I'm glad you were OK with my critique. I sometimes worry about speaking up about what I see, but it looks like we were on the same page anyway. I've read about still life artists who spend more time analyzing and setting up their still lifes than they do actually painting them! I know I've often spent a long time - it's harder than one would think to get it right. I covet your little coffee pot. I love coffee, and have a multitude of pots and other coffee-related objects. I guess I should paint some...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMArtist7
Hi all!

Geoff, that looks like a nice still life. I'll comment later, a bit tired today but hey good news everyone, I painted something!

I did it indoor plein air style why? Well, you see, it was actually snowing on my birthday today!!! Best gift ever because it's super rare for NL to have any snow - say 1 or 2 times a year? Maybe never (we didn't have any last two years). So, I did what I could, I painted as fast as I can because I don't know how long it'll last. In end, it started raining ruining my view and the snow was starting to melt so I was forced to call it done.

Oh well, at least I did *something* even though the result was rather disappointing. "First Attempt with Winter Scene" 24x18cm canvas panel.
DMA, Happy Birthday!!! Looks like the snow was a special birthday gift, because it's a lovely little plein air. I like the color and composition, and the brushwork really looks like snow falling, especially around the cars. Well done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotius
...I watched a video by James Gurney in which he had a computer track eye movements over paintings. Viewers invariably are drawn to human figures. Their eyes rest there and keep coming back. Gurney's video also seemed to cast doubt on some of the traditional tenets of composition, like the idea that a painting "leads the eye" in a particular direction. Viewers actually dart around from one spot to another, like grasshoppers or crickets. Anyway, this is one reason I put more figures in my landscapes these days. ...
Geoff, That's very interesting - and surprising in the way it contradicts the typical advice on composition. Did he test paintings that didn't have any figures? I wonder if in that case the circular theory would be borne out. Many thanks for passing the info on.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:34 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolkay
heres what I’m working on presently. I found the pitcher In a antique shop and wanted to place it in a painting. I loved it’s shape. I also was hoping to make it work for a beautiful. Masterworks frame I have. We’ll see. It’s 14x18. Oil on linen panel.





Really nice this... Nice setup too! Wish I had the space and could also get a proper daylight balanced bulb here.... then I'd be in business.... However, coming into summer now so hopefully lots of good light
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:50 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

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Old 12-11-2017, 06:16 PM
Mauricio Calderon Mauricio Calderon is online now
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Zooreka. It´s getting very interesting!!
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:58 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

That’s looking good, Zooreka!

Annie, Gurney and others have tested how people look at paintings both with and without figures. Even without figures, the viewer’s eye doesn’t glide around the canvas; it darts abruptly. These eye movements are called “saccades,” and they are among the fastest movements in the human body (along with blinks). As early as the 19th century, scientists notice that we read sentences in jumps, not by gliding our eyes. We read paintings in an even more grasshopper-like way, darting 3-5x/sec, even halfway across the canvas, then “fixating,” then jumping again.

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...n-part-2.html]

Moreover, the eye isn’t particularly drawn to the corners of the golden rectangle or other traditional points of interest on a canvas. Moreover, abstract shapes don’t necessarily dictate what we look at, despite the traditional emphasis on making interesting shapes. Gurney says viewers are looking more for meaning and context, not shapes. Gurney illustrates this all with a heat map at this link -

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...on-part-3.html

Wikipedia link here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccade
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:15 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Zooreka, it looks great. I love the tubes of paint - they're so believable but still loosely painted. It kinds looks like something's off with the ellipses of the bottle. I can't say exactly what, and it may even be one of those things where it actually looks like that in real life, but when painted, looks off a bit. Lovely lighting in the piece.

Geoff, I'm gonna check those links out. Some of it doesn't surprise me as I think about it since it seems similar to the way that people are taught to spped read, in bunches of words rather than one at a time. I wonder if people in more relaxed times really did let their eyes wander more leisurely (it's official - I now longer know how to spell! Really, "leisurely" shouldn't be a challenge!) around the image. It really surprises me that interesting shapes don't apparently make a difference. I wonder if it has anything to do with the style of painting, or with the background of the viewer. At any rate, Gurney is wonderfully generous with useful information.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 12-11-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:00 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Well, I overstated Gurney's point on abstract shapes a bit. He says:

"5. As pictorial designers we shouldn’t think in abstract terms alone. Abstract design elements do play a role in influencing where viewers look in a picture, but in pictures that include people or animals or a suggestion of a story, the human and narrative elements are what direct our exploration of a picture.

As Dr. Edwards succinctly puts it, “abstract design gets trumped by human stories.” The job of the artist, then, in composing pictures about people is to use abstract tools to reinforce the viewer’s natural desire to seek out a face and a story."

Of course, some pictures seek to convey a mood, not necessarily a story, and in those cases I imagine Gurney would say abstract shapes matter more.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:28 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

I haven’t had much time to paint this week, but I got in an hour on my still life earlier today. I’m starting to paint over my underpainting, from back to front. I’ve tentatively decided to put a little statue of a king in front of the candle, so I’ve indicated his cast shadow on the candle. The king may still not be enough to fill out the composition, but he helps. In the meantime, here’s the painting and a closeup of the candle.



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Old 12-14-2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Hi all! It's been ages since I logged on, but I finally have a still life that isn't just spheres, cubes and cones

I just finished the Munsell color theory portion of my training and I was quite sure I didn't want to paint any more spheres for the foreseeable future.

My instructor put this still life together for me to paint. Can I call this "Shiny Balls?" 18x24 oil on canvas.

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Old 12-14-2017, 12:58 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Hey Lep, and welcome back to the party! And good work on that still life. You can call the painting whatever you like, lol. I like the shine on the ornaments; nice job there! Nice shadows too, especially the one crossing the bottom of the big red-and-white vase. What the heck is that pentagon-shaped object, lol?
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Dec. 2017: artist's choice!

Thanks for the welcome back. That item is a candle holder on its side. I had the same question when I first saw it :-)
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