first painting

Hi all,

So I have just finished my very first painting using the DMP method, a home made still life A3 size. I did not have a color checker at hand yet, and I made my color groups by eye on the palette. I realize now how far off i am from the original colors. I was working from a photo (from my laptop screen) since day light exposure changes a lot in my appartement. I have now built a colorchecker and will definitely colorcheck more.

My self-critique of things that I think I know how to work it out would be (i) value/color problems to be solved with the colorchecker and (ii) the perspective drawing problem of the jar lid.

Things I don't know how to fix:
1) dark brushstrokes on my white paper. The white is always lightening up my darks, especially at the end of the strokes (see bottom). I tried after this painting to stain my "canvas textured paper" (gesso + burnt amber acrylic), but the paper got all bended upon gesso drying. I guess this staining technique is solely for stretched canvas. I prefer to start on paper rather tan canvas for price and storage, as my first paintings won't be worth hanging... The problem might be due to my student grade paint (cobra), would that not occur with artist grade paint?

2) The background fabric looks really bad. I was unable to get a decent background and I ended up playing so much with it that it got all blended and muddy. I tried first to keep the abstractness into it as mark does with random brushstrokes here and there, but that did not work out at all. How would you have done it differently?

3) Drawing straight slim lines for the lamp, but I just saw the post on using a rigger brush. will try it.

4)The bulb area and the light passing through the silver cup holes gave me a real struggle, I gave up.

Lot of work ahead, that's great. My problems all came from steps I skipped in the method because of equipment lacking. I will try to not skip steps from here on, and maybe buy some artist grade paint as recommended all over the place in this forum.

Have a great day.
Best
Adrien


ArtGaltassieguyGary_Heath

Comments

  • This is a lovely setup @adridri, and for the first attempt your painting looks good. i never used paper or cobra  oils so cannot help you here , but I'm sure you will get a lot of technical advice from our experts here on the forum. i think you got your values right and the rest is technical issues :)
  • Good first effort, @adriani

    You'll find it much easier if you stain the surface fist so that the white ground doesn't show through.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Good first effort, @adriani

    You'll find it much easier if you stain the surface fist so that the white ground doesn't show through.  :)
    Thanks, I'll try to stain it with paint instead of gesso, in order to not have the paper sheet all twisted.
  • edited October 13
    @adriani, it gets easier with each painting you do, so stick with it.

    Your drawing in this one was good - the jar, the bowel and the lemons are all good.

    To avoid getting bogged down in unimportant detail and muddying things up, it can be helpful to look at your subject through a half squint so only the most visually important parts are visible. It's those parts you want to focus on. Details like the holes in the lid of the jar you can ignore.  I would have painted the fabric in just two, maybe three values in broad masses, three shades of pink-brown. Once you get the broad masses in you can add a few details later if you think they are necessary. They often aren't.

    And color check, color check, color check. Your dark values need to be much darker - beneath the lemons for example. After a while you'll find color mixing much easier and you'll be able to do it almost without thinking, but in the beginning, careful color checking is essential for realism.  :)  
    ArtistMartin1Gary_Heath
  • tassieguy said:
    @adriani, it gets easier with each painting you do, so stick with it.

    Your drawing in this one was good - the jar, the bowel and the lemons are all good.

    To avoid getting bogged down in unimportant detail and muddying things up, it can be helpful to look at your subject through a half squint so only the most visually important parts are visible. It's those parts you want to focus on. Details like the holes in the lid of the jar you can ignore.  I would have painted the fabric in just two, maybe three values in broad masses, three shades of pink-brown. Once you get the broad masses in you can add a few details later if you think they are necessary. They often aren't.

    And color check, color check, color check. Your dark values need to be much darker - beneath the lemons for example. After a while you'll find color mixing much easier and you'll be able to do it almost without thinking, but in the beginning, careful color checking is essential for realism.  :)  
    Thanks for taking the time to answer. I have now built the color checker, in the next one I will be very careful with that. And I will slow down, I was probably too fast too. 
    tassieguy
  • edited October 14
    A few more points that might help you, @adriani.

    Start with very simple subjects. Mark has an excellent video where he paints just a single mug and it looks stunning. Use simple objects and plain fabric to begin with. 

    Also, have your light source out of the picture or you'll find it very difficult to get the values right. 


    And, finally. once you lay in a stroke don't mess with it. If you've mixed the correct value and colour, when you lay in a stroke of the correct shape in the right place, it will look great. Don't muddy it by blending. You mixed that colour for a good reason - it was what you saw, so there's no point destroying it by blending it with the stroke next to it which should also keep its own colour and value.  If you are going to blend, wait until you have the canvas completely covered and then decide if any blending is necessary. It's often not necessary if your values were right when you laid them in the first time. Blending is fine where appropriate but beginners tend to really overdo it and end up with mud. So leave blending until the very end. 

    Hope you find this helpful.  :)
    Marinos_88adridri
  • Actually I do, this is very helpfull. I am impatient to try the next one. Many thanks ! Loved your rocks.
    tassieguy
  • edited October 15
    This is a great first effort! It's a really interesting and balanced composition. Here are a few thoughts.
    1) 'Paper'? - I assume you used a 'paper' that's designed for oil paint? I suspect you may have used a paper that has a canvas texture that is designed for printing. It will fall apart with the oils or water if you used acrylic or gesso. At cheap stores you can pick up cheap canvas boards and art stores have pads which are great. Whatever you get, make sure it's suitable for oil paints. You'll find it much easier. Otherwise it's like to walk through a marsh.
    2) If it's a photo - start to paint it upside down. You think I'm joking. You don't have to, obviously, but I had a brilliant teacher and my first 3-4 paintings were painted upside down (no colour either) to stop me painting objects. We don't paint objects. We paint values (dark tones, light tones, mid tones - half close your eyes as @tassieguy suggests to simplify); shapes (big dark mass at the bottom of your painting up to the bowl - I would have immediately painted that as a single dark shape, no visible brushstrokes to distract. Check that the shape is correct. Done.) Edges - hard edges, soft edges, lost edges (right hand side of glass jar). Colours - least important. No really.
    3) Paint in order of visual importance - As @tassieguy said, paint what you can see with eyes squinted. No details. Big things, simplified as though they are out of focus. Start with the simplified big shapes of the right value. Stand back from the painting so you can see the whole painting. We should paint from at least 1-2 metres away. Half close your eyes again and look from your painting to the source. Then paint the next biggest difference. That won't be a fine detail until towards the end.
    Keep going - you've got a good eye, you'll get there. 
    Marinos_88adridri
  • edited October 15
    ++ for tassie's & abstraction's comment!
    2) & 3) is extremely important to understand and apply to your paintings! 
    adridri
  • yes that was a thick paper designed for oil painting, similar to the canson figueras but from a local brand. I might try the board, I had not thought of this, thanks.

    It was from a photo but on my computer screen, I have now understood why it is problematic to work from emitted light source rather than reflected light. I will stick to shadow box and printed laminated photo rather than computer screen.

    good idea to try upside down, I had tried this with drawing and sketching, that's a great exercize.

    Thanks all for your advices !
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