Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Renoir's Blog



  • Excellent work. Nice colors, nice composition, well painted.  
  • I also really enjoy how the weave of the canvas underneath comes through to give the illusion of thread wrapped around the spools, Priceless! Very well done! This is very good art without a doubt!
  • Lovely @Renoir, a really well executed still life. Values, realism, colour choices, and just enough detail to bring it all together. Your best yet in my view. 
  • You painted needle and thread!!! Awesome!!!!  We are unworthy!!!!
  • How the heck did you paint each line of the spools with dfferent values all the way accross and up and down!!!!!  Amazing  
  • @BOB73 - you really are funny!

    Actually, the needle and thread took very little time and they were the most fun to paint. Talk about abstractions! There is no way you can break down all the values in such a very small space so it was a matter of mixing tiny amounts of similar colors in a variety of values, loading the brush, and holding my painting hand very steady. I was able to get up to 2" of brush stroke at a time and after laying the first length of color, I added more over it to create depth and shadow. I loved doing the needle! We assume needles are silver, but they are not. There's gold, brass, gray, blue, white. It was interesting mixing some of those colors. Mostly it required putting some paint over other paint in strategic places.

    @Wishiwaspainting I had a whole lot of help from the weave of the canvas that gave the spools even more depth. But thank you for your lovely comment. I am woefully inadequate as a realism painter, but I love color. I see lots of different colors in each object. And setting up the black box with high lighting and sharp contrast really let's you see all those colors. It's wonderful!
  • Trying to create more depth and detail. Much more to do. I struggle with creating depth in flat objects. The two center flowers are mostly facing out so creating the shadows sometimes just looks like variations in the color rather than depth. 

  • Well @Renoir it seems your struggles are paying off in my opinion :D i can see really good improvements from one photo to another, so I guess your way is good! 
  • You are coming along quite well here! Depth and detail are here, maybe it's time to start filling in the background. That teal/turquoise pot in the background should help to set things quite nicely.
  • Who doesn't love sunflowers! these are going to be great.
  • These lòok great already, @Renoir:)
  • Sunflowers are difficult.  I once did a large sunflower painting and it took FOREVER.  all those petals geez.   Keep at it, this will be nice when you are done.   I am finding more and more how important light is to my subject - every single time I pick something that is not well lit, I very much regret it.  
  • Lovely. One of your best, @Renoir. The colour harmonies are beautiful. 
  • Something about this gives me a peaceful feeling but also makes me hungry. Beautifully done. Reminds me too of paintings with the Zorn palette, very earthy and warm.
  • Well done, this is very beautiful, gentle and warm. I like it <3
  • This is just amazingly good @Renoir
    It’s realism at its best , and I love the quirkiness of the objects.
    Spools of Thread are attractive to look at when grouped like this but it’s only a true artist who could bring them to life. Well done. 

  • Another learning experience: I must always paint from life. For whatever reason, lack of attention to detail?, I simply cannot paint from a photo or from an object which represents a real/living thing, ie. fake flowers.
    Alas, it has been gray and dark until this past week, so anything outside is dreary and lacks color. Perhaps I will make friends with the florist and see if I can get discarded flowers from which to paint.
  • edited March 2018
    Sometimes dried flowers work well, 2 years now I still have 9 dried different colored roses, very delicate by now, hanging around waiting for another still life to happen, still beautiful looking, especially under lighting and after some dusting, ha,ha,ha.
  • @Forgiveness - I have some roses from my mother's funeral that I was going to paint, but they've really lost their color, plus they're incredibly fragile. I have them behind glass in a dining room cabinet. We have three cats, so when they get mad at me for not feeding them at precisely the time they want to be fed, they start walking all over my art things and move them around  :p
  • With the extension for the Sargent-style a la contemporary subject, I decided to put paint to canvas today. I was never satisfied with getting a semi-decent set up, but I finally settled with this composition. I worked on it for probably 5 hours today, from sketch, mixing, and painting. Tomorrow I'll work on refining, especially the top of that mug... whoa! it's a bit leaning and tippy. 

    This is my morning: phone, coffee, 'key' - although technically they are no longer keys. 
    I haven't decided to what extent I would put in further detail of the Starbuck's logo on the coffee cup, but in the spirit of Sargent, I'll try to use one perfectly placed stroke of paint to make it perfect. ha!

  • I was hoping you would enter!!!  yay

  • Ok, I'm done with that painting. I'm going to post it on the contest submission board. I lost a lot of the loose Sargent style unfortunately.
  • You have so much more going for this even without the Sargent look alike, and your intention was good and strong as clearly as it is shown here. I vote a "awesome" for it.
  • RenoirRenoir -
    edited March 2018
    My first attempt at portraiture since I started. I cannot get the eye on the right side in the right place :-(

    First picture is my painting, second picture is source photo. 8"x10" linen.

    Ok, I'm working on source photo....

  • Hi @renoir, I think the head is more tilted in the reference photo, might be why you are having difficulty with eye placement.
  • Thanks @Boudicca, I see that now. 

  • RenoirRenoir -
    edited March 2018
    Tomorrow I put in the background.

  • Wow @Renoir this is really good 
  • Looks like you conquered the problem this last painting looks great. did you use a ruler to get the eyes right? That's what I was going suggest if you your source and painting were the same size.
  • This is coming along beautiful, slow down and take your time.
  • Ok, I must not have wiped off my brushes before painting certain spots so the paint is very thin and oily in spots. Not sure what to do. If I add any more paint it won't stick and will just blend with what's already on there. Any suggestions?

    @BOB73 - Thank you so much, Bob. You are such a voice of encouragement. Yes, I did use a ruler, but I cut her image out of the photo so I could measure better and I must have tilted the image, unfortunately. I didn't used to measure out images carefully before painting and it showed.
    I thought I had the angle of the eyes correctly measured, but where I drew it was all wrong. Had to step back and adjust. 

    @Forgiveness - Thank you!
    @alsart - Thank you!
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    edited March 2018
    This is very nice.  There is something in the photo that you captured very well - she is thinking.
  • You may possibly have to stop and let it dry a little or completely, before doing more at this point.
  • @PaulB - thank you so much, that means a lot to me. You can see from the photo that she is lost in thought, with a faraway gaze. I had to redo the mouth multiple times because I often achieved a 'stereotype' or a smile which is inaccurate. The eyes were the most difficult, especially on the right side of the painting, to show the lost in thought gaze so I really appreciate that you see it.

    I have to say I am excited with how this is turning out because I've just had failure with any portrait/people attempts, this was one of my first attempts to paint her.

  • Well I like the first one too..I wouldn't call it a failure. I like how it's going on, the source photo is very beautiful and the painting is beautiful too. To check the tilt if the face u can try to measure the distance from the cheek bone to the point of the nose as long with the distance between the two pupils. Looking forward!
  • dencaldencal -
    edited March 2018

    Nice work.

    Suggest a slightly softer hairline.

    Title: The Girl with Faraway Eyes.


  • PaulBPaulB mod
    I keep coming back to this one, it's really got something about it.  Like you said, she's lost in thought.

    I've been playing with this painting digitally, so see if my thoughts have any merit.  I've only done one portrait to completion, and it wasn't nearly this good, so I'm trying to learn from other people's paintings.  I do this with a lot of paintings here.  I save a copy of the photo, then digitally butcher it, and quietly not make any comments, because I have nothing to add.

    Sorry @Renoir, if this is unwanted interference.  My impression is that there is a bit too much hair, so I tried pushing back the hair with a darker color in two places, around her left temple/eye/cheek, and at the back of her neck.  I think the left temple area is better with less hair.

  • @PaulB This is fantastic! Thanks so much! I didn't spend much time on the hair, just plopped it in, so I have yet to do the background and finish the hair, but you make an excellent point. I also noticed that the highlights on the top of her head may be misplaced, so I'm going to take a look at that as well.

    If you don't mind, do you think I should just do a dark solid background? I was thinking of using the background in the photo but making it very abstract/stylized, simple and muted. Thoughts?

  • @dencal Thank you so much, I value your input greatly, I know you've been at this a long time and have much experience and wisdom. And I love the title! I will name it The Girl with Faraway Eyes.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Renoir said:
    ... do you think I should just do a dark solid background?
    I think so, the less distraction the better.  I think I like your idea, simplify what's already there.  You don't need those kitchen details, and you don't need us to focus on the quilt.
  • @paulb thanks, I appreciate the feedback.
Sign In or Register to comment.