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New Composition Question [Resolved]

mhqoilmhqoil -
edited July 2020 in General Discussion
My last attempt at a hummingbird was just too difficult. So I have found a new picture I've fallen in love with - herbs. My canvas is 8x10.

Here is the original photo:

Here is crop1:

Crop 2:

What do you think? Do the crops work? Do you have a suggestion for a different crop? Any tips or tricks?

Thank you! 


  • edited June 2020
    @mhqoil, the colours would be easy to mix but this one looks even more complex than the birds. And the background is a bit boring.   Maybe try something simpler to draw. Mark gives a great demonstration in his video where he paints a simple pewter mug. It's really  beautiful. Have a look at it and maybe use his as a model to paint something equally simple. But if you really like the herbs and want to try then by all means have a go at it. I would lose that one leaf at upper left that falls parallel with the left side of the picture. I don't know why but to me it is discordant.  :)
  • Ok, I'll take your advice and look for something easier. Thank so much for sharing your knowledge!
  • If you have those items and want  to paint them I think you should. the bowl would be better on a red cloth for background and contrast. The colors in  the herbs are a bit oversaturated but could still make a nice painting.
  • @mhqoil I agree with @tassieguy choose something simple with a simple background, I would avoid fabric and anything with a pattern. Then focus on the shapes, value, color and edge.  You will gain valuable insights if you start out simple.
  • mhqoilmhqoil -
    edited July 2020
    I have some new potential choices for my next piece! Having wasted a fair bit of time on this and had some false starts, I appreciate any help on this you can offer! Note that I am a beginner, I have only done round fruit. I have 8x10 and 16x20 canvases.

    A) This might be too simple and I might get bored. On 8x10

    B ) Crop the blue bottles to the left and some of the fruit? On 8x10 canvas

    C) I would ignore the incense and twigs

    D) This looks the most appealing but might be too hard. I could do it on 16x20?

    If none of these are sufficient, perhaps you could suggest subject matter to me and I could search for it.

    Thank you!!!
  • I would go with the first one.  I know it looks simple but when you get into it you will find a lot more there.  You can always move on to one of the other two on the next painting.  
  • GTO said:
    I would go with the first one.  I know it looks simple but when you get into it you will find a lot more there.  You can always move on to one of the other two on the next painting.  
    Thanks GTO, I will take your suggestion. Did you mean move on to the other two items in the photo? So, I would do each item and then pull them together in a final painting? :) Thank you.
  • edited July 2020
    I would do as @GTO suggests. Start with the single item in (A) on a small canvas then on a new larger canvas paint (D).

    I think these photos are much better than the birds or the herbs. They contain lovely shadows, reflections and lost and found edges and the colour mixing and matching won't be too challenging. These would be fun to paint and great for learning basic skills.  :)

  • Thanks @GTO and @tassieguy I will take your suggestion to do A and then D. To be honest I was hoping to be working on more thrilling subject matter more quickly, but I will eat humble pie. Regardless, I think I will enjoy working on these pieces very much. Thanks again for your guidance. 
  • @mhqoil good advice from @GTO and @tassieguy.

    Accomplishing the more simple pieces first will enable you to do the `more thrilling` subjects well later on.

    "More quickly" isn't the best approach when learning. Slowly certainly is.

    Think about a lovely piece of piano music or symphony that you like. Each note was put together and learned gradually in steps before it became the beautiful piece that you can now listen to.

  • Looking for good composition makes me search for hours without finding anything i like, alot of free photos websites provide images that suited for advertisments and companies or to be used in social networks pages, the herbs photo is better used by nutrition expert on his/her facebook page rather than you as an artist, i don't mean about the herbs as a subject but about the angle and composition of this particular photo .

    In your future searches try finding images that contain objects that captured at "eye level" or lower by a little bit .
  • You might want to do a search on the subject of Wabi Sabi.  

  • What I like about wabi-sabi is the appreciation of things worn, old, not the perfect photos you see in advertising.
  • edited July 2020
    I did a search @GTO. I didn't know what it meant. Now I do and like wabi-sabi very much.  :)
  • The first one. later a setup with one of those blue bottles and an orange or lemon would be good on a dark BG. You have a lot of things there good for future setups.

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