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Still life set up. Will it work?

Any suggestions about this set up will be appreciated.  It's a great deal easier to get things right before you commit to paper or canvas.  The grapes are artificial. Once I get the set up right, I'll substitute real ones.


  • I would place the blue bottle where the water jug is and drop the water jug out, just my view,.. keep in mind Kingston slammed my still life attempts,...
  • I really like the pyramid arrangement of the objects. If It were my setup I would be asking myself whether the two solid blue objects (bottle and jug) will work in a final painting. That’s a tough one.  It might look great, it might not. The other question to ask yourself is what do you want your focal point/center of interest to be?  Then:  does your setup effectively make that object the star of the show?  I agree with you that now is the time to resolve those issues. It takes me days to arrange a setup to get that “Eureka!” moment.   You’re very close, IMHO. 
  • P.S.  I would remove the grape bunch on the right and just put one or two grapes on the table. So there’s a relationship between left and right, but not repetition. A couple of painters I follow call a single grape on the right of a still life setup a “stopper,” like the period at the end of a sentence. 
  • I think the style and color of the blue cameo box on the right doesn't seem to be compatible with the other blue objects in this arrangement. Also, with the gold platter mostly centered and the tallest, I would move the tall blue piece in the middle more off center (probably to the right) to balance everything out. Look forward to seeing what you decide on.
  • oilpainter1950

    Way too busy with shape, color, textures and materials. Aim for a simpler design.
    Suggest a single side light with lots of connected shadow values. 


  • Whatever you do hurry up before the candle burns down.
  • I find the process of arranging objects in a still life to make a pleasing/satisfying/interesting composition one of the hardest things in painting. You can use the golden ratio etc to help and there are some useful apps for this such as @Roxy's but as @Martin_J_Crane points out it's going to take time to get an arragement right. In this particular case, @oilpainter, you have some lovely colours and textuers and the arrangement of objects is almost there. @Denis might be right about simplifying things a bit. Keep at it - with a bit of tweaking this setup can work.  :)

  • @tassieguy ; Sometimes it takes me weeks before I get things set to my satisfaction.  @BOB73I have @dencalI do tend to get things a little busy.  Thanks for pulling back on the reins.  @birdman Some adjustments need to be made.  I'll try to take a photo of it when I get a little happier with it.@Martin_J_Crane ; I'm going to try green grapes and shift things around some and post another photo soon. @alsart Thank you for your comments.  I'll be moving stuff around and leaving some stuff out and we'll see what happens.
  • Asking for suggestions on a still life setup is really tough, and brave. I think when having a painting critiqued, there are certain rules, relationships and little nuances that might have been overlooked that others pick up on and point out. However, setting up a still life is such an individualized process it's really totally up to what pleases you. Different artists prefer different things with varying taste and always have. Hope you find what inspires you.
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