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.

Trio of Pears

This is a painting I did recently using Mark's method.  Normally, I use very tight brushstrokes.  I had a lot of fun with this one but know there is lots of room for improvement.  I set up this still life and used a photo to paint from.  Unfortunately, it has a garish blue background, so I changed it to more of a bluish gray color.  The reflection in the bottom of the bowl I think may be too dark.  More contrast needed on the pears might fix that (?) and probably need more work on the fabric drape also.  Ellipse is off on the right side of the bowl.  Any other critique would be very welcome.  Did this on an 8 x 10 inch canvas board.

Reference Photo



  • edited June 22
    Hi, @A_Time_To_Paint. No one else has commented so I will. It's so important to help each other. 
    This is a good subject for a still life. Apart from some minor problems with values I think you've rendered the pears quite well. I think you would have been better off following your reference photo more closely in terms of colour as it is the intense blue against its near complementary orange-yellow in the pears that makes it a striking image. The composition is somewhat staid and reducing the fabric to gray was to dispense with the most interesting element of the image - the juxtaposition of complementaries. You've already pointed to the problem with the elipse.

    This painting is fixable. Wait until dry, redo the fabric, fix the elipse and get some darker warm shadows on the shaded side of the pears. 

    Hope this is helpful.  :)
  • Thank you @tassieguy for your comments.  I'm surprised to hear that the original background works.  I had advice from other fellow online artists that said to use a blue-gray color.  Should have gone with my gut as they say.  Thanks again for taking the time to look and your great comments/advice.  Very helpful.
  • @A_Time_To_Paint  I think the original blue background is a lovely rather striking blue and to me, for that reason it takes me away from the pears.
    I guess that blue toned down would work.
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited June 21
    There’s something about the skin of the pears that is  too dull   . They seem like potatoes. Also no variation in tones. 
    Maybe more highlights would help , though I know these are not shiny pears. They are not things of beauty. 
    Shiny fruit is easier to make look attractive. 
    I prefer the original fabric although it becomes the star of the show and you want the pears to take centre stage.  
    I think you’ve done a good job with the set up you’ve arranged but I just don’t think it catches the eye. 
    You need more contrast, more drama. You won’t get this from these pears.  But I think highlights would help.  
  • @MichaelD - Thank you Michael.  Somewhere in between what I did and that original blue.  @Hilary Thank you for your observations.  What would you suggest to make this a more interesting still life?  I know this was not as good as it could be and I really appreciate your feedback.  Definitely more drama  :)
  • edited June 22
    There are just three things you need to do to this, @A_Time_To_Paint.

    1. Fix rhe values in the pears. Colour check each brushstroke against your reference. The lights should be lighter and the darks darker.

    2.  Fix the elipse.

    3.  Either get some of that gorgeous blue in the fabric or get rid of its reflection on the left underside of rhe bowl. I like that blue reflection but if you are going to keep it we need to see its source - the blue fabric. 

    Hope this is hellpful.  :)
  • Excellent advice from @tassieguy
    If it were my painting , I’d go with the original fabric which would take this piece to a different level. 
  • I think you are on the right track but I agree with @tassieguy. I also think you can go darker ant the darks and lighter on the highlights, you'll have too if you bring back the saturated blue to the background.
  • @BOB73, thanks so much!  I plan on working on this and have it finished and posted by end of the day tomorrow with the changes.  I really appreciate your feedback.
Sign In or Register to comment.