My first still life. Started in August 2021 but didn’t touch again until I finished on Dec 24


  • edited December 2021
    So I ended up not happy with a couple things, first was the background cloth, for may reasons. The value isn’t super bad, but with most of the painting edging on realism and detail, the cloth doesn’t match that, I’m very tempted to go back and fix it, but I’m also eager to move on to my next project and call this done. Like Mark told me, I need to get about 20 paintings in before I’ll be more comfortable with a lot of things like developing color from steps, maintaining value and properly using my proportional divider. I am just a beginner and I owe a lot to having some success with this first still life painting to Mark’s amazing instruction and education to me about the processes in draw mix paint and fix. 

    But my question is, Do others agree it’s time to just move on to my next project? 
  • You've done a fine job with this, @pcstaples. The objects are very well painted. I love the cherries.

    As you said, the background could be refined. But I recommend moving on so that you can apply what you learned in this one to the next. I agree with Mark that one needs to do a good number of paintings before mastery comes into view. So, yeah, I think you can be happy with this one and that you should move onto the the next. And you can always come back to this one later.  :)
  • My favorite part is your fruit & books … I love your colors and values on them, your doing great!
    I’m just new to working on Mark’s methods too and I am finding it quite an adventure and I am enjoying & learning from  each project. Enjoy 😊 
  • Excellent work. Can you please share a good photo of the work along with the source?
  • edited December 2021
    Not sure how to get a good photo of each as there’s bound to be glare, but I’ll try. I actually created a still life in mark’s studio and then he helped me with his equipment, photograph it and photoshop it to bring down overly bright spots. Then of course, print and laminate it. So I’ll share both tomorrow 
  • May I ask why you want these better photos of my painting and the source?
  • I'm guessing Kaustav wants to see if he can give more constructive comments to help you :)
  • Great! I’ll take any critique I can get! I already know the things I don’t like about it
  • edited December 2021
    Be careful reworking your background.  If you make it too "finished," you could end up with a painting in which the background is so polished and attractive that it detracts from your subject matter.  The word "background" means that . . . something kind of indistinct and "back there."  If anything, find a way to soften/blur the background just a bit.  A softer background will enhance the sharper foreground.  I read once on an art website the thought that a painter doesn't really begin to "get it" until he/she has a thousand or more paintings under his/her belt. 
    By the way, I have a simple set of instructions on how to "square up" photos of artwork in Photoshop.  I've used it for years.  It allows me to take photos of my art with my camera/tripod set off an an angle so as to avoid glare from studio lights.   I'll be happy to send it along if you wish.
    Or, I'll just add it here . . .

    Removing Keystoning and Perspective Distortions in Photoshop

    Removing keystoning from a photographed rectangular work is not difficult in Photoshop. Use the Crop tool to get within a quarter inch of your painting, (but not too close). With the NAVIGATOR, ZOOM IN to at least 100%, or much more. Now SELECT/SELECT ALL. Go to EDIT/TRANSFORM/DISTORT. You will find in the corners, 4 small box buttons. Drag each of these out one at a time until you get each corner of your painting pulled tight to the corners of the image file frame. Press ENTER or RETURN (Mac), to accept these changes. Any perspective distortion present in the original image will be corrected now.

    To get the proportions or aspect ratio of your painting back on track, take measurements of your original painting, go to IMAGE/IMAGE SIZE, disable the CONSTRAIN PROPORTIONS checkbox, so you can alter them. Now type into the height and width dimension boxes, the actual measurements of your painting. Since this may increase your file size to something overwhelming, you can reduce the pixels per inch to something much smaller than 300dpi to something like 96 dpi, or 72 dpi. Press OK, and your painting will be flat, square, true proportioned, and looking good! Remember to go back and reset the CONSTRAIN PROPORTIONS checkbox in IMAGE SIZE, for the next time you use that function

  • This is an excellent first painting.  Your values look spot on.  I would move onto the next one.  You can always come back to this later.  
    @broker12 I’d be interested in your instructions on squaring up a photo.  I always struggle with taking photos of the artwork.
  • GTO . . . please see my post . . . I edited it to include those instructions.  It sounds a little wonky at first, but by the time you've done it a couple of times, you'll be able to whiz through it.
  • It's very good.

    I would leave it alone and move on. Keep it as a momento and to keep track of your development.
  • Thank you all for your input and excellent advice and tips! This forum is amazing. I feel like I’m hearing from a group of masters at my fingertips! 🤣 so awesome!
  • love the peach colour reflections on the silver!
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