My first oil painting from the Full Course

Here is my cup.

Not sure what to think about it. Glad it looks like a cup, but not so much of the subject. 

Coming up with the steps was okay, but the colors much more difficult. Perhaps due to not enough difference for a beginner. I ended up feeling like I gave up and continued painting so that at least it ended up looking like a cup. Drawing, my weak point, was not as easy with the proportional dividers as it first appears. Reviewing the lesson and reading about it on this forum helped.

Oil painting has a whole level of learning that is going to take some time.


  • I am looking at this through one eye today, having had a rose bush stab my other one yesterday.  Consequently, what I am seeing may not be what you and others are seeing.  Am I seeing a canvas painting sitting on a table with clutter behind, or is the entire image the painting?   Wuth my one eyed slant, I am guessing it is just a painting of a mug, and the rest of the photo could have been cropped and discarded?   If not, I apologise. 

    Yes, drawing skills are important and it is showing here.   If this was a drawing, you would have a definite light source and there would be shading to indicate the dark side and a gradual rounding to the light side.  There would be a shadow cast on whatever the mug sat on. It seems to float in air here in front of a red wall.  If that is how you set up the still life, I suggest you have an incredible future in magic!! All jokes aside, you have good dark values on the bottom of the ridges, but these need to be matched and intensified on the dark side of the mug body and handle and shadow.

    Those same graduations that are vitally important in drawing, are important in painting too.

    Keep going, it will all begin to make sense the more you do.  My main advice would be to become acutely observant of what you are looking at.
  • Thanks for the comments toujours, much appreciated.

    yes that is a cluttered table behind with my cup. I planned to paint many of those other items, but got so frustrated that I did just the cup and hastily painted over the rest of the drawing.

    I did not see just how flat the cup looked until you mentioned it and I looked again at the picture.

    Although I made Mark’s easel, color checker and palette table, I did not make the shadow box, so the light source is above and behind me, hence no shadow. Perhaps I can take the artist license and pretend it is coming from the left or right. 
  • I think I believe I need much more experience on how paint reacts to other paint. No medium was used but occasionally a solvent was used. Slight improvement.

  • Not sure where or when you were using the solvent?  Chelsea Lang posted a video recently on youtube which may help you understand fat over lean (oils over solvents).

    Yes, you have achieved a slight curve to the mug now.  There are still some major inconsistencies.  There is no need to rush, take your time with this....
    What is the mug in your painting supposed to be sitting on?  Are you imagining a table covered with a cloth that also covers the wall behind it?     Where does the horizontal plane the mug is supposed to sit on end and the vertical plane of the wall behind it begin?  Perhaps as I mentioned earlier, this is a magic cup which hovers in midair as if held by an invisible force?  Either way, it is not clear to the viewer.

    You have begun to get the light source sorted, however, it is not consistent between the mug and the background.   The shadow is on the right of the mug, yet there is shadow on the wall behind the left side of the mug.   That would be unlikely if the light source was from the left.

    You seem to have added some extra horizontal ridges to the shape of the mug.  Was this planned?

    I have rushed into painting before in the past, and learned the hard lesson that the initial planning and  drawing stages are vitally important if the painting process is to follow in a smooth and easy fashion.   If you rush the preparation (as with most things in life ), or do not have a clear plan in your head of what you are hoping to achieve; it makes the process a lot more difficult to achieve a believable painting.  There is currently no story to this that would indicate it is much beyond colour and shape on a canvas.    Look closely at the story of the real mug sitting on the purple cloth.   What is it about that story that you would like to translate to your own story on canvas?

    Hope this helps.
  • edited September 13
    @BarryC, thats a good first effort.
    The cup looks flat and as there is no surface to be seen, like its floating. @toujours has given plenty of good advice above.

    You mentioned that its going to take some time, and it should. You also mentioned that you did the cup hastily. Taking it slow when you are beginning is important.

    When you hear and see someone playing beautiful music competently on a piano, they initially took thier time in practice to get there.

    Most of all enjoy the process.

  • It would really help if what looks like say red velvet changed beneath the cup.  Or you have different colours, But that may be in later lessons.

    It has probably been mentioned but a bird's eye view helps.

    One could argue this second picture is a lot harder, but the thing is that it has a lot of  stuff in it that develops depth and a sense of place.

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