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Paintings "before Mark"

As a self taught newbie, about to follow a class with Mark. Here are some of the paintings I made before, just to record the starting level. Working now on some lilies to show Mark on our first session. Have so high hopes!
Don't hesitate to let me know what you think, I can take it :-)


  • edited June 18
    Well, you can obviously draw. And you know a thing or three about colour, too. You've done a wonderful job with that rose. The chiles look great, too.

    With Mark you'll get a better feel for painting as a process of seeing areas of colour and laying in brushstrokes of the corect shape/ value/colour and leaving them alone rather than filling in an outline drawing. I'm sure you'll shine. You have good skills already.  :)
  • Raffi

    Beautiful work. Colour intensity amped up a tad too high. Edges too sharp particularly on rounded forms.

  • Oh thank you @tassieguy and @dencal , much appreciated! Yeah, a long way to go, but passion is there :-)
  • I've just finished the foreground to this one. tons of mistakes I am afraid here. the subject was too difficult for me. also it's 1meter x 1 meter, for me that is pretty big!

  • Wow this is the coolest! Your paintings are great. You seem like a cool lady!
  • You're so kind @mhqoil ! thanks, my favourite remains the pink rose, but this I really learnt lots on this one :-) 
  • @Raffi i like your paintings and recognize the rose from a Michael James Smith tutorial.  (I was a student for a year and did five of his tutorials)  I am very curious to see how once you learn the tight brush strokes how easy or difficult it can be to get more loose yet realistic at the same time.  I'm intrigued and will look for your first painting here.  
  • hey @A_Time_To_Paint , fellow MJS student! I only did that tutorial. Started the mountains in winter but never continued it - but never say never. The apples and plum were done following Bill Martin. The rest are mine.
    Now I feel that more mature tutouring is needed, hence Mark :-)
    Thank you for your comments! Did you post any work of yours? I'd love to see them.

  • @Raffi I have not attempted Mark's method YET.  I actually have a still life that I setup and photographed today that I would like to do with his method.  I will use a photo to paint from but have the still life still set up so I can compare color.  You're stil inspiring me to try new methods.  It's amazing how realistic his work looks without all those tight brushstrokes.  I will share a new post with one that I painted of some pears following Mark's method.  This is the photo I took today.  Too boring you think?

  • Hi @A_Time_To_Paint
    not too boring at all! I think it has all the characteristic of a great still life! I still have a week to kill before Mark's first class, so I selected this one to try and follow his method with. I only have 1.5 days to work on because I work through the week, so don't know how far I'll get. 
    This is a free royalty picture I am using as a reference. Cannot use this painting to sell it of course, but then again, who'd be buying? ha
    anyway - yours is really good, let me know what you think of mine below.

  • This is an underlayer. I originally wanted to have it finished (go through the colour layers) so that I could show Mark at the onset of my class, but unfortunately the bckground is too fresh. Pity. Anyway, here it is, totally unfinished and with no details - also the values are a good bit off yet.

  • edited June 21
    @Raffi How excitng to be able to atttend Mark's class!  I'm so happy for you.  I really like your still life choice.  It includes reflective items and is interesting.  I'm sure you could find a buyer once it's finished.  Your flower painting is really looking good to my eyes.  Hope you'll share here when it is finished.
  • Lucky you @Raffi
    Taking Mark’s class will transport you to another level. 
    Your paintings are very interesting , your passion is evident. 
    Good luck , and please let us know how it all goes for you. 
  • The rose is terrific and could easily be assumed to be a post Mark Carder class painting. I'd love to see what you can do with that castle on the lake after completing the course. Since you're about to be tutored by a master, there's no need to hear advice from me but I agree with @dencal.
  • Thank you @BOB73 ! i will try my best :-)
  • edited June 23
    @Raffi, I envy you being able to take lessons with Mark. If I lived in the US I probably would, too. 

    I really like the setup with the coffee pot with its wonderful planes of reflected light.

    BTW, @A_Time_To_Paint, I also think your setup with the jar, book and toy tractor would make a wonderful painting. It's not at all boring. And I love all that space with subtly varying light in the upper sections. I hope you paint it.   :)
  • @tassieguy - Thank you so much!  I look at Mark's amazing still life setups and just love them.  It wil give me an excuse to visit a local antique store and rummage around for some interesting items.  I will definiitely paint this.  I have a challenge painting to finish first.  In the meantime, need to pick up another color printer, as mine went kaput.  May take a while but will definitely paint this one.  I also still work full time, so hard to find "A Time to Paint."  Thanks again!
  • @tassieguy , he now does Online courses! I live in Dublin, Ireland, and I'm taking an online class :-)
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited June 24
    My God , @Raffi
     Whereabouts in Dublin ? 😂😂😂
    I’m in Rathfarnham. 
    Have just been reading all about Mark’s online course. Such a fantastic opportunity and such a great idea to be able to take his course online. I think it’s the way of the future because travelling and everything else so restricted now. 
    I hope he does really well in this latest business venture. He certainly deserves success. 

  • Hi @Hilary ! well met! I'm in Blanch :-)
    Yes, I wish him well, he's a fantastic teacher and I am so looking forward to this course, starting this Sunday! wish me luck :-)
  • Good luck today @Raffi
    I think you’re going to love the experience and get SO much from it. 
    Please keep us posted about how you’re getting on.  

  • Agreed. Keep us posted!
  • Hi @Raffi
    Thanks so much for taking the trouble to give such an interesting review of your online course with Mark. 
    It sounds as though you gained a huge amount from the whole experience. Your still life set up is absolutely beautiful , covering so many different elements. What you’ve done so far looks perfect. You’re so right to take your time and not rush. 
    Really looking forward to seeing your progress with the painting as you work your way through it. 
    Maybe when this crazy time is over we can have a coffee in Liffey Valley and compare notes. 
    Thanks again for your very detailed and interesting post. I was very anxious to know how you had found the whole experience. Delighted you found it so worthwhile. 
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