Hidden Treasures

edited November 25 in Post Your Paintings
Here is the latest painting... "Hidden Treasures"    It's 24" x 24" (61cm x 61cm) Oil on ACM panel.
I did a previous painting that I had called Still Life with Blue Egg Still Life with Blue Egg — Draw Mix Paint Forum but later changed the title to Asian Treasures.

This painting "hides" the treasures in boxes, except for the carved red bowl.  
In this painting, behind the bowl are two miniature terra cotta statues of two soldiers from the Qin Shi Huang dynasty in Northern China.  The first dynasty of china.  It is said that Qin had 700,000 conscripted slaves, peasants, criminals, and artists (not all of which were conscripted) create some 7000 statues of soldiers, a few hundred chariots, 500 or so horses, an itinerary of governing officers and even some jugglers and acrobats.  They were part of a larger mausoleum that included a palace.  After it was created and later when he was entombed the entire complex was buried.  Along with most if not all of the conscripts.

This is probably the last painting with the red tassle.  (for those who are keeping track.  =)



  • I like how you've done the brushwork….and the values are great! It's very lively as your eye keeps jumping all over the canvas. This is a good example too of how rules can be broken cause you always hear how you're not supposed to put the focal point in the centre but here it works perfectly. It's neat having some background info too   :)
  • Thanks @Loushka.  I think the square format helps to allow the central focal point.  And the brightness of the soldier to the left quickly takes your eye on the journey around the painting, so your eye does not just rest on that large red bowl.
  • CBGCBG -
    edited November 14
    Hi @GTO
    Was this painted from real life or a single unedited photo?

    My eye is trying to understand how the light is distributed and bounced back and forth between the objects.
  • Very nicely done and nice composition. I like the lighting in the back, otherwise I think you are right in that the red bowl would dominate and the background objects would be lost. 

    I can’t event imagine what you went through painting this!
  • @CBG I drew the image out mostly from a black and white photo of the setup with some changes to make it fit in a balanced way to my square panel.  I then painted it from the still life setup.  
    Here’s a photo of the setup.  You can see the table cloth and below that had to change to fit the panel dimensions.  I also changed a couple things in final painting.

  • Thanks @BarryC.  Yeah it was difficult to do.  The background alone took ten days off and on.  I actually couldn’t work on it for a week at one point because I got vertigo.  Literally.  Just moving my head made me dizzy.  But I recovered and pressed on.  I seriously felt like ditching it after doing the background.  Which is not a good way to feel when you are just starting out a painting.😬
  • CBGCBG -
    edited November 15

    It might just be me, but when I look at the shadow values of the red dish and tassel, the photo seems different from the painting.  Shadows seem darker in the photo, especially when I switch my monitor to B&W.

    Oddly, the shadow on the front of the bright cloth seems the same in both, and even slightly lighter in the photo.
  • @CBG Yes they are different and even different from when I checked those values using a color checker on the actual setup.  At one point I did the front of the cloth and table structure just as the values checked out but I did not like the way it looked in the painting.  It was just too dark. So I wiped it all off and redid it lighter.  
    I didn’t want this painting to look as dark as some of my earlier paintings.  
  • Very ambitious.  Lot's of bright points--the vase is a bit distracting.  But hey, I might change my mind.
  • Thanks @Gary_Heath.  The vase was a relief from all that dark background and gray soldiers when I was painting it.  That and the reds are the saving grace in this one.
  • edited November 15
    Oh, wow! This is another stunner, @GTO. I love the composition and the colours. The red bowl between the golden objects either side is wonderful. You have the patience of a saint to do all those intricate patterns all over the picture. I think this is a show winner.  :)
  • This indeed is a tough painting to do. 
  • This is another gem @GTO i just have one comment, i find the boxes and statues beautiful but i keep finding the background quite bright, in my opinion a darkened down background would draw more attention to the magnificent boxes and bowl (and tassel tassle 😀)
  • Thanks @tassieguy @kaustavM and @JerryW  for your generous complements.  
    And yes I am going to lock the tassel up in a box now.  😀
  • Just get different coloured ones, @GTO.   :)
  • Great painting, @GTO I like the the way the objects are arranged and the colors work beautifully together! I can feel the texture of those boxes! 
  • @tassieguy Ha!  You know?  I’ve thought of using a different color but no, I’ve got to mice in to something different. 😀
    @Bucky thanks for your feedback on this one.  I appreciate it very much.
  • edited November 15
    What's next on your easel, @GTO? Any plans? A series of these exquisite Asian ones would make great show.  :)

    I forget to mention that I just love the square format of this latest one. And the way the objects fit into it so beautifully. 
  • Beautiful still life @GTO! that's probably the most difficult background to paint, but it adds interest :)
  • Thanks @ArtGal the background required a lot of patience that’s for sure.  
    @tassieguy I too like that square format.  I don’t have anything decided yet on what to paint next.  I’ve got some ideas in mind but not sure about them.   I wonder about the Asian theme though.  I’m not sure there is much attraction there. (Though I like doing them). My paintings have been selling at competitions so I don’t have much left for a show.  I’d have to really focus on a set for a show.  
    There is a regional competition that I have been accepted at the last two years but hadn’t sold or gotten an award from yet.  I may try for something again for that show.  But it would have to be a derivative from what I have been doing somehow.   
    I am tempted to try something out of the light box.  But if I do I may need to work from photos.  
  • Fantastic work @GTO in your usual meticulous style, I am not surprised some of it nearly sent you over the edge :-)

    Love the arrangement and colours.

  • Thanks @MichaelD.  I appreciate your feedback.  Yes, I am taking a week break to recover. 😀
  • the painting looks luxurious! and i sense a little more abstractness from your earlier paintings... but given so many patterns are present in the compositions choosing to be a little abstract with them was a clever idea.. it makes the painting look fresh... love the white cloth ....
  • Thank @anwesha. You are right about the abstraction.  As I worked on the patterns I realized that I didn’t need to paint so perfectly to get the look as long as I stayed with the general shapes of the pattern. This was a relief to realize.  I think it makes for an interesting feel while still holding to the level of realism that I like.  Thanks for taking the time to check it out and comment .
  • Beautiful! I love the placement of the red bowl and tassel. I really makes for an interesting composition.
  • Thanks @Allie . I appreciate your feedback.
  • Looks great! All those patterns.. :open_mouth:
  • I'm impressed with how this turned out.

    You really inspire me!
  • @Richard_P thanks!   The background pattern was the most difficult.

    @allforChrist thank you for your generous complement.  
  • edited November 17
    GTO said:
    ... The vase was a relief from all that dark background and gray soldiers when I was painting it.  That and the reds are the saving grace in this one.
    I see your point.  The terracotta warriors look like toys here.  The scene is a kind of miscellanea of Chinese objects, very complex and interesting.  Great work.
    Qin shi Huangdi was a nutcase and the short-lived Qin dynasty fell with his death.  Apparently, his terracotta warriors all have individual faces.  Amazing.
  • @Gary_Heath Qin Shi period managed to form a common currency among regions and built a significant part of the Great Wall.  The mausoleum is so over the top that you have to wonder about the personality cult or the degree of autocratic power at the time.   The soldiers and boxes in this painting are from the mausoleum site from when my wife visited the area some years ago.
  • Great drawing and capture of light!  Interesting choice of colors, both set up and paint. Are you using both the photo ref and painting from life?  
  • @PBarrie Thanks for your feedback on it.  
    I used a black and white photo to draw the image on the panel, but I did the painting from the still life.  I had to modify the drawing a bit to fit the square format. 
    I also lightened up the painting a bit from the setup.  When I did my color matching I didn’t like how dark it was turning out so I redid some of it lighter.
  • Bravo, good sir! This is great.
  • Thanks @mio much appreciated.   I’ve been struggling lately tying to figure out the next painting.  I don’t have a clue yet!   :#
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