How to render a wall or a table top..... with interest

Here is a quick question for the experienced forum members.   I have always struggled with painting plain, flat surfaces (like walls and table tops) my opinion, these are paradoxically one of the hardest surfaces to paint, due to the fact that the painter wants to make them look interesting, without having them look artificial, and without having them overwhelm the main subjects.   Attached is a photo of a still life I am working on.   I am trying to determine if I did a good job, and created a wall and table top that "fits" the painting.

If anyone has any comments or advice on creating "painterly" flat surfaces, I would be grateful.   If there are any books or articles or samples of good work that members can recommend, that would also be appreciated.

Also, feel free to critique the overall work..... I am still a novice, for sure.... all comments are welcome...




  • I like using CG to explain myself. I used a program called Strata 3D to render this.

     The wall is not just a wall. The shadows on the wall and table are integral to defining the shape of the subject. The lighter value is the 'negative space' or 'negative shape'. Which is often as or more important than the subject. It's not just a flat wall.

  • Thanks for sharing that.   Your Strata 3D rendering is pretty cool.  I appreciate the input...
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