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What about this?

I'm about to start a new painting and I am thinking about painting this. It's kind of abstract, though real objects. It's from a picture I took after finishing a dozen Apalachicola oysters. It's going to be very challenging given all the subtle changes in colors. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on whether or not you think it would be an interesting painting (assuming, of course, that I can execute it well). I'm thinking of making it 8" x 10". Also, in Photoshop I'll tone down the super bright whites on the top two shells. Thanks.


  • Hi, subject is interesting seeing you paint food often :) but I am not really sure about this photo. Composition is not that great and there aren't a lot of there are a lot of complete white in the highlights, this means it is overexposed. Can u find other photos? Did u take then? Don't want to sound bad, I am just saying like I should paint it.
  • How did they taste? Kidding. Makes for an interesting piece, not kidding. You almost have the extreme differences between smooth and rough textures, like porcelain and tree-bark. You might need a mile of palette space to lay out your color strings. I think it will be difficult to keep your colors from milking up. But I also see some nice warm colors to balance the whole thing and give you some color harmony. Another challenge is the fact that the bottom half of the shells have no real definition to begin with so it's going to be tough to impart both texture and maintain form. But I also think you are up to it. Good Luck.
  • @Bobitaly -- thanks so much for your comments. Yes, I did take this photo. It's actually a section of a photo (see below). As far as the overexposure is concerned, I think I can take care of that in Photoshop. But the question of composition is the biggie. Sometimes I look at it and like what I see as the abstractness of the composition -- other times, I'm not so sure.

  • @BOB73 -- thanks for your comments (and they tasted SUPER!). Laying out the colors is going to be a huge job, no doubt about it. and your remarks concerning the textures and the partial lack of definition are all right on the mark. I'll probably give it a bit more thought before I commit.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited May 2018
    @ArtistMartin1 ; I can see why you are drawn to this photograph.  Glazing and layering most of it would be a dream come true.  The only reason I wouldn't try it is because there are parts of the shell that are ambiguous by the very nature of their design.  Your painting will be too--in those parts.  You will get the blame and you won't be there to defend yourself.  Still, I'd give it a try if I were highly motivated.  The second shot you posted seem more doable, actually.  Composition will probably be challenging as well.  Have fun!  Summer

    Afterthought:  Would make a great watercolor (after seeing your site!).
  • You are welcome, just knowing u are gonna spend a lot of time painting it was trying to be helpful :))
    I tried to play a bit, Maybe moving the lemon on the left a bit because yellow helps the eye in my opinion. Whatever u choose good luck!

  • @Bobitaly -- I love the way you flipped that full photo. That gives me some ideas for playing around before I make a decision. Thanks!
  • @Summer -- thanks for your thoughtful comments. I agree it would make a great loose watercolor. I just did a little figuring and realized that I haven't done any watercolor since October 2016. I spent 10 days in Austin with Mark at his studio in November 2016, where I put my first oil paint stroke ever on canvas and have only been working with oils ever since. One of these days I need to break out my watercolors again just for a respite.
  • I think you should go back there and do some more research.
  • I agree it what make a great watercolour. 
  • @BOB73 -- in fact we're going back there tomorrow for a couple of weeks, and then we'll spend most of June there and into July. We have a vacation home there. And because we eat oysters on the half shell about three times a week, I'll have plenty of opportunities to do "research."  B)
  • Bring home some oyster shells and try photo on a different background..... crushed ice, ceramic platter table cloth (red checkered would be southern style)  wood picnic table, silver tray. A little glycerin would keep them fresh looking. Add a string of pearls for a more sophisticated look. Don't eat too much mercury.
  • Hi @artist Martin, I would include the lemon, the yellow of the lemon and the mauve/purple in the oysters makes good use of complementary colours.
  • @BOB73 -- some good ideas, Bob. Thanks.
  • Maybe that restaurant would like to buy that painting?
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