Still life oil practice

So I keep practicing with oil paints and this is my latest work. Any critique is welcome! Two things I'm most unhappy with is the doll (idk the highlight just doesn't work?) and the helmet looks a bit like it doesn't fit in the scene. Maybe I should have more background colour influence its left edge and add a stronger contact shadow. What do you think?



  • @Jan_D

    This is an interesting composition. 

    The structure of the objects seems sound even interesting. Lighting or understanding of it is not.

    You're right the helmet doesn't jive. I seems to teeter not sit balanced. It' strap is in conflict with the doll.and the far edge of the books. This is in the arrangement. But it's oil paint and can easily be adjusted.
    The books have strong lights and darks. The helmet seems unlit in comparison. The background plane is teetering into the scene.

    Move that strap?. 
    I made a over lay of what would seem to be a more appropriate light shadow structure.

  • CBGCBG -
    edited August 26

    I love the effect of this one on me, conceptually and visually, whether or not such effects are intended.

    The contrast between the dark left and the light on the right with the symbol of conflict in the middle brings my attention to the army helmet, a symbol of force/war/action.  Its position and its straps dominates or alternatively protects, the passive intellectual pursuits of peacetime, learning, reading, imagining... all atop a homely stand that reminds me of a picket fence...
    and the little doll, so precarious like a child, perched yet only so far up the stack of books... perhaps never to get any farther, or alternatively enjoying the protection only a strong helm provides... or even, ready to jump off the ledge in despair?  

    Alternatively, perhaps the contents of the books are one of the causes of the helmet itself?

    Much pondering and appreciation is inspired in me by this one... and to me:  

    It surely is more than just a pretty picture!

    Well done!
  • edited August 27
    I like this very much. The way the objects fill the pictorial space and the balancing act of the books and helmet on top of the rickety wooden structure is very interesting. The doll perched precariously on the edge of one of the books adds to the tension. The colours and values read fine to me. Well done!  :)  
  • this composition is very interesting, are hardness and softness of the books are very well defined and very nicely done also the perspectives are on point... yes highlights can be tricky, especially on tiny objects.
  • Thanks @KingstonFineArt , Think I'll leave this onefor now but surely will be on the lookout for those tangents next time!:)

    Glad you like it @CBG . Lovely comment, thanks!:) I suppose if the contents of the books are a cause for war when the new Dune movie comes out I suppose!XD

    @tassieguy thanks!:) Sure it was rickety and tense when I set it up!:D Stood strong until I finished though:)

    Thanks @anwesha , I'll have to look into those highlights. thought it would be the easy part of the doll since theres just a clear coat on top of everything. oh well.....:P

  • Interesting still life.  The value of the horizontal board on the bottom (back of the stand might need to be darker.  That would bring the front corner of the stand forward and create more space.  The base of the doll is missing the occluded shadow at the base.  (That dark fine line at the base) adding that will anchor it better.  The rest of the doll is fine.  I am not sure how to critique the helmet other than saying the value of the edges of the right side and maybe the left side may need attention.
    These are very minor things.  The still life itself is well done with an interesting composition.
  • Thanks @GTO
    I was thinking how to create more depth in there actually thanks:) Still struggling against the paint a little when trying to paint in smaller detail like the occlusion at the base of the doll. Shaky hands too :0 slowly getting there though:)
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