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Two small still lifes

Just wanted to share these recent paintings. Both were done on 11 " x 14" canvas panels. I'm kind of rusty doing still life but wanted to begin this new year doing something besides portraits. Feel free to point out where you feel I might need some improvements,  thanks! 


  • I love the kind of rustic style of these.

    The ellipse of the container behind the orange is out of whack but apart from that I think they are great. 
  • I love the bold brushwork in these, @Leo. And those grapes are gorgeous. 

    I see you have the same problem as me with glare when taking photos of paintings. We need those polarsing filters   :)
  • I like the loose brushwork in these.  The only things I wonder about are the neck of the bottle and the vertical line in the back drop are fighting for attention.  That backdrop line seems to run down and into the left side of the bottle.  As Michael pointed out the ellipse in the bottom painting is off a bit.  But I would also soften the horizontal line in the fabric behind it. Only because that line is pretty much at the same level as the top of that vase.  The orange and grapes look perfect.
  • edited January 8
    Some shapes and some extra sharpness but nothing much! These have very good colors actually. I'm looking forward to paint more for color. Doing more will obviously lead you to a new area.
  • MichaelD, thanks. Yes I did notice the vase was not drawn properly, but looking at it here again I'm not sure it's the elipse that's wrong. It looks like it's off center, pushing too much towards the left side.  At any rate, I tend to have trouble drawing symmetrical shapes correctly and it gets harder when I attempt it with a brush full of paint. 
  • tassieguy, thanks. Yes, I'm no expert at taking photos of my paintings, and trying to get rid of the glare is always a problem. 
  • @Leo2015, you are right, its more the the side of the vase above the orange. Perhaps just needs straightening out a little.

    Have you tried the old trusty -looking at it upside down ?

    That often helps with this sort of thing.
  • GTO, thanks for the feedback, you have a good eye. The line in the back was caused by a fold in the drapery, as you can see the whole thing needed ironing lol. The neck of the little bottle isn't straight like most bottles, but rather it swells or bulges at the base, but again my symmetry was off, the left side bulge being a little higher than the right one. The horizontal line or fold behind the vase actually lined up with the top edge of the vase so I lowered it. It could use some softening. 
  • I always got the color problem with my photos  - they  looks good when loaded on my computer but the moment i attached them to forum's discussions   the colors start looking  much cooler and faces in particular look dead pale.
    does anyone else has this problem or is it just me?
    this still lifes colors look gorgeous to me :)
  • kaustav, as you know, in nature colors tend to be grayer than we think but I'm beginning to like the look of stronger color. 
  • ArtGal, I was looking at your portrait of Ally and didn't notice much wrong with the light. Is the original portrait darker than it looks here? Sometimes I lower the brightness of the photos I take because they tend to look lighter than they really are. 
  • MichaelD, I'll try to remember that next time! 
  • @Leo2015, yes ally's portrait is warmer in reality. may be it's just my computer :)
  • These are great. I need to start getting into  a still life. My obstacle is finding a good set up. 
  • Love this one, @Leo. The texture in that vase is lovely and I love the values in the shaded side of the vase. :)
  • Very painterly, I like it too!
  • Love painterly look, looks beautiful :)
  • Thanks everyone for the kinds words! 

    Rich_A, I know what you mean, I have the same problem. I think it's because I'm doing things on my own. It's so much easier learning from someone who already knows how to do it.

    tassieguy, painting the vase was a bit difficult for me because I always tend to get dirty color when I paint something white. To make matters worse the day became cloudy and you know how that affects color! I had to paint over it the next day when the sun was out again. 

  • @Leo2015, when painting from life, I would suggest to use a shadow box. Mark described how to build it in one of his videos. That would allow to reduce/avoid variations in color caused by light source. Painting  from a photograph would also makes it easier.. 
  • MyArtsClub, thanks. Actually I'm trying to paint more from nature since most of the stuff I've done in the past ten years or so has been from photographs. 
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