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First Oil Painting

Hey all, This is my finished oil since high school. The photo of it is not awesome but I don't have a great camera at home.

This is a painting done from a photo my wife took on our last trip to Paris. It was down a little street on the Isle St Louis. I thought it would be relatively easy but all the straight lines were difficult to say the least.

Further, after starting I realized the original photo had some lens distortion and some of the colors were wonky. But, it is what it is. So, this is the final product (the painting is darker in person than the photo of it appears to show).



  • I think it's a fascinating painting.
  • Hopefully fascinating in a good way haha
  • Love strange angles you find in old buildings. The cat and its motion are brilliant. It's a great first paintings. 
  • Thanks so much Indra!!
  • Very nice.  I love how it tells a visual story.  
  • Yes, "fascinating" in a good way, smasse. One thinks about why the door is open, about what's going on inside, the door left ajar invites one in, the cat is looking curiously around ... It's full of that sort of stuff. And it works just as pure painting. The colours increase in intensity as we move inwards and the patch of yellow then red against the browns/greys in the rest of the picture makes an interesting focal point. That's the sort of thing I mean by interesting.
  • @tassieguy Thanks very much. Sort of "Self-conscious" about the first painting so I really appreciate the compliments and the description about the way you see the painting.

    Very much appreciated.

  • I think that there is something quaint and old-world about it.  Thumbs up!
  • You did great.  Looking forward to the next one.
  • @Summer, nothing is quaint and Old World like the Isle Saint Louis in Paris!!
  • @davidwwilson Wow, thanks so much! I havent really studies de Hooch before but after looking him up after your post I can see what you mean.

    Looks like a lot of his paintings draw your eye to an up-lit focal point (from a window or open door) surrounded by darker painting. 

    I really like de Hooch's work and definitely love Vermeer
  • smassesmasse -
    edited August 2016
    For reference, here is the original photo that my wife took. I had to compress the picture slightly when transferring to the canvass and I could not for the life of me get the glass of the door right (decided to paint it one solid color instead after multiple attempts) and I could not get the inside of the establishment right, so I simplified...
  • A lot of art is editing to fit your current skill and express your taste as an artist. It is a fine picture. 
  • @davidwwilson I tried the reflection of the man twice and then tried to get a good reflected glass look without the man, and then after that said "Screw it" lol. Couldnt try anymore on the glass and it just looked bad. So I improvised and think it came out pretty decent. 
  • I especially like the red interior. The painting reminds me of the transition from a Toulouse-Lautrec like exterior to a Matisse-like interior, i.e., his "Red Room."
  • One of my main struggles as a painter is to get some honest criticism of my work.  So if you are interested in honest thoughts, both negative and positive, here's what I think.  I also like the suggestive nature of your subject, but I am more interested in the abstract aspects.  I love how the kitties paw breaks the line of the stairs.  His shadow is nice, too.  I wish the verticals on the left were truly vertical.  i know the photo shows them as tilted, but I would have straightened them in order to give more power and structure.  I like that virtually none of your whites are pure white.  I don't like the scratchy texture on the base of the post to the left.  It's out of character with the rest of the painting.  The color harmony is weak ish, I think.  For example, the cat has a lovely golden light on it's back/neck in the photo.  That would have made the whole painting look more glowing and cohesive.  I think some of the shadow colors, under the doors, etc. are so blah and could have been given some nuance.  Notice also, how the right facade of the building is all golden, as is the outermost edge of the "glass" door, while the innermost edge of the same door is much cooler.  That would have been lovely to see in the finished painting.  All in all, this is really a nice painting with so much going for it.  The way you have put in your shapes, especially the kitty is sensitive and pleasing, the composition is the strongest point, I think.  I love all the angles and flat surfaces contrasted with that living kitty.  Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • @atinanesaerdna I am 100% open to criticism and I personally think there is a lot that needs work in my painting that I saw from the jump. 

    For reference, this painting is pretty small...I think 8x10? So I think I bit off a little more than I could chew with that size canvas. 

    I also remember starting to paint after drawing the picture and thinking, "wow, that is a lot of lens distortion". But, instead of erasing and redrawing I just went ahead.

    Further, I did this painting over a few months time, so I was always restarting basically and trying to match colors that had since been scraped from the pallet. Color mixing for me and seeing all of the gentle transitions is 100% something I need to work on. I definitely agree with you on that!! (Didn't help that this photo was not printed and I was using an ipad to paint from *I know, I know, that's terrible*)

    But, I agree with you for sure there are multiple things that need work, especially being my color balance, color matching, values, drawing, etc. I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your critique (and your compliments)! I will take your comments with me when beginning the next piece =)
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