White bowl

So, I’m painting a bowl of tomatoes . The bowl is white . But I know not to use straight white . I’m not sure what to add . Would it be a speck of blue ? Grey ? Yellow ?
I tried a few times before and end up with a chalky looking thing .
Any advice ? I want to get this down .
Annie 

Comments

  • I like my tomatoes but the bowl is meh. See what I mean ?
    allforChrist
  • Are you working from a photo?  Can you post the reference that you are using?
  • No part of the bottom of the bowl appears to be in shadow. Although possible, without context for the viewer it looks odd and flat.  Real world white objects are mostly light and dark shades of gray sometimes pushed by warmth in sunlight or coolness in shade.  Don’t be afraid to really get some dark in there for some shadows.
    Annie
  • TedBTedB -
    edited October 10
    Dutch artist Jos van Riswick paints lots of ceramics in his still lifes and they're magical.  He posts a lot of timelapse vids of himself working on YouTube. If your slow down the playback you can see his technique better.  His egg still lifes are a revelation.

    Paul Foxton is another recommendation for light moving around an object. He's the artist who turned me onto Munsell color theory, changed my world.

    It's amazing how complex a simple object can be once light and shadow begin to play around Its form in value and chroma.
    Annie
  • GTO said:
    Are you working from a photo?  Can you post the reference that you are using?
    I was working from a photo but I don’t have it anymore . This painting I posted is now my reference and I’m making a new one !
    I know :🙄

  • @CBG

     I’m always too skimpy on darks .
    Ok, I will try greys . 
    Thank you so much !
  • @TedB

    Oh, yes ! I know Jos van Riswick. Great idea . I’m doing that , for sure . I’m fairly new to painting ( as if that wasn’t clear ) so I will look up the Munsell theory . I’m curious !

    Thank you so much , I appreciate it .
    annie 
  • The painting looks really good, including the bowl.  You've done a good job.  Yes, there's probably a few more/darker darks in there.
    Annie
  • @allforChrist

    Thank You ! 
    I think the bowl looks pasty and I so wish to paint a smooth , shiny , porcelain bowl . And I wasn’t sure how .
  • Annie said:
    @allforChrist

    Thank You ! 
    I think the bowl looks pasty and I so wish to paint a smooth , shiny , porcelain bowl . And I wasn’t sure how .
    Specular highlights and subtle reflections help for gloss/shine but are not the easiest thing to paint without a reference.  slightly darkening the entire bowl will present more opportunities for highlights which could remain close to pure white paint.
    Annie
  • Annie,

    I've cropped the photo of the painting so that we can see it better.



    I think the tomatoes are fantastic. The highlights and stalks are just superb.

    The bowel is good, too, but it seems to be a strange shape. The left hand rim is elongated. Was that a distortion by the camera or is the bowl really an irregular shape? Some are. What is the bowel made of? It looks like plastic. If so, that might explain the lack of bright highlights. Others have mentioned the lack of shadow on the bowel so I won't reiterate except to say that, given the highlights on the tomatoes and the shadows of their stalks,  the light appears to be coming from upper left and so one would expect the right side of the bowel to be in shadow. There would also be a shadow beneath its base.  I think that not painting the base of the bowel and the surface it is sitting on makes it difficult to situate in space. When you painted the fabulous aubergine it was on a surface and cast a shadow which anchored it and told us where it was in space. That would have worked here, too.

    Still, anyone who can paint tomatoes like that has serious skills and I look forward to seeing more.  :)  
    AnnieAbstraction
  • @CBG
    Thank You . Im going to try it 😊
    annie
  • @tassieguy
    Yes, the bowl is a weird shape . It’s not a distortion .
    It is supposed  to be a porcelain bowl. But everyone thinks it’s paper or plastic 😁.

    I will add shadow to the right of the surface . I keep forgetting that this also helps the bowl. 

    I didn’t realize the picture was upside down , sorry . Thanks for that .
    annie
  • The tomatoes look gorgeous @Annie :)
    Annie
  • Brilliant work on the tomatoes @Annie, its going to look even better where you have completed the bowl

     :) 
    Annie
  • @ArtGal
    Thank you very much . I was happy about the tomatoes ( doesn’t happen too often , ha) . 
    Such a bummer that the rest wasn’t as ok.
    I am re -painting it on a panel , I think now the bowl looks ok but the tomatoes don’t 😁.
    Always something !

    ArtGal
  • MichaelD said:
    Brilliant work on the tomatoes @Annie, its going to look even better where you have completed the bowl

     :) 
    Thank you , @[email protected]!
    I am redoing the entire thing on a different surface . 
    Its so encouraging to read these comments from artists such as yourself . I always feel I  am still puttering around but growing a little confidence . 

    Perhaps I should paint over this bowl too ? 
    The way it is now , I won’t hang it up anyway . 
  • Show us the source photo (or take one if you are painting from life) when you show us your painting. That way we can give you more detailed C&C. :)
  • @Richard_P
    I wish I could 
    This painting is my reference for a new one I’m making . I am re- doing the entire painting , hopefully with a better bowl 
    I had a reference picture but lost it so I only have the first painting I made . I was hoping people could tell me what I did wrong from there or what I can improve , as I’m halfway through the second version . 
  • @Annie,

    Well you are doing mighty fine considering you are, as you say, just puttering around  :)

    Ok, so you are doing it again on another surface.

    That makes me wonder what you are doing with this version.

    If the answer is -Nothing, then why dont you use this one to practice on the bowl.

    Just an idea

      =)


  • Because I like the tomatoes and don’t want to make it even worse . Haha .. I know : it makes no sense .
    Plus doing a whole new one gives me practice on everything all over again.
    Youre right , of course . 
  • edited October 10
    A white object usually has very little (pure) white on it. Keep looking. Shadows, reflected light from all around - the tomatoes (light from tomatoes will hit the inside of the bowl), the benchtop, the walls. Highlights.
    The biggest issue I think is your values are not strong enough. This is true also to a lesser extent with the tomatoes. They are beautifully observed except they are almost all the same tone/value. Where are the deeper values between the tomatoes? Values punch out the form. I can see you've tried to observe it but almost as if you're afraid to go too dark.
    What cured me of that was doing this painting a few years ago. When I realised her shadows should be darker, at first I thought - woah! I went too dark, that looks ridiculous.
    But it was correct. Finding that dark value created the sunlight in the painting. I went a little more violet due to the reflected blue light all around on her skin, but that shock of turning on the light really helped me be braver with darks. (This is just a tiny piece of the painting.)


    GTO
  • I can absolutely see that . Beautiful psinting .

    You’re correct : I’m always a scaredy-cat with darks . Even when I feel im
    real dark , it still isn’t enough . 

    Another gem response , thank you very much . It’s very helpful and pushes me forward . 
  • AnnieAnnie -
    edited October 11
    Would this be better , value wise ? And shading ? This is my second version , it’s on a panel . 

  • This is your painting with just colour removed so you can see the values clearly. What do you think? 
    You painted from a photo that has very strong studio lighting and white surroundings. Possibly they had diffusers on the lights and this has meant the shadows are not as intense in the original - which you get with clouds.
  • The values still need work. Are you colour checking to get the correct values?
  • Annie, I think the right side of the bowel needs to be darker and warmer. It still looks a bit flat.

     I did this in Affinity Photo in just a couple of minutes but I think it gives an idea of what I mean. I can't see the reference so I had to guess /imagine what it would look like. Of course, you would do a much better job than what I have done here - it's just an illustration to show what I mean. 


    Annie
  • This is your painting with just colour removed so you can see the values clearly. What do you think? 
    You painted from a photo that has very strong studio lighting and white surroundings. Possibly they had diffusers on the lights and this has meant the shadows are not as intense in the original - which you get with clouds.
    Yes , I see it .
    I think there’s dark and light and nothing much in between ? Do I get that right ?

    Thank you !
  • @tassieguy

    I was at the start ..😬
    Then I feel like there’s not enough and just started adding light and darks . Obviously not enough ..
    I suppose painting from life is better with a color checker ? I bought one a few months ago at Geneva .
    Thank you 
  • CBGCBG -
    edited October 12
    Annie said:
    @CBG
    Thank You . Im going to try it 😊
    annie
    So I happen to have a blue room... and a shiny white ceramic bowl...

    Notice how only the "hot spots" are pure white, all the other values are light and dark grays... tinged with either blue (surrounding wall color) or brown (wood dresser drawers color) or the slightly warm tint of the lighting.

    PS - Although it was a question you asked tassieguy I would say it's a "yes" to the color checking.



    Annie
  • @CBG

    Aaah, I see it . It all sounds so simple once you know …I need to get on the better color mixing train . And observing better . 
    Very helpful , thank you !
    annie 
  • This is one of the skills I think that take a while to develop: seeing values. One of the reasons for this is that colour tricks our eyes. In your bowl you correctly adjusted your 'grey' of the shadow on the lower part of the bowl to pick up warm reflected light from the wooden surface. On the upper section you correctly adjusted to pick up the reflected blue. But when I stripped the colour out it wasn't quite dark enough.
    Tricks to help:
    • Squint. Eyes almost closed so you're looking through eye lashes and all the details are gone. You simplify what you are looking at to big areas and tones/values. What's the difference between what's on my canvas and the source? No. Really. Artist best practice.
    • Colour checker - allows you to match directly to your source. (I don't actually use one, but it's clearly very good)
    • If you have a source photo use a program to turn it into greyscale. Without the colour it's easier to see. Take a pic of your painting in progress. Strip out the colour. Compare to the greyscale of the source image. It's like... wow.
    • Red glass or cellophane - my art teacher got us to look at the source and the painting through this as it also strips out the colour.
    • This can be a reference to help match values. How dark are the darkest darks? In your source photo they aren't very dark. This can help although when you mix the colours you might need to squint to work out how dark it is. You do just get better at it over time.

    Annie
  • @Abstraction

    You are like a painters library !
    Thank you for taking the time to write this . 

    Ok, so I feel I am on the right track . 
    I am painting some pears right now too ( I know : it probably comes as a surprise ) and I’m exaggerating darks but still , with a black and white photo , it doesn’t look dark enough . I’m being too skimpy . 

    I try to remember : value is how dark or light but in the same color .

    Hope you’re having a nice day 
    annie
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