Setting up Still Life Composition

Good day all.  I am still experimenting with lighting a still life in my tiny studio/home office.  I lit one subject off to the side and liked the outcome.  I then setup my my portable lightbox and lit another setup and like it as well.  I've decided when painting a still life setup to take a good photograph and use the photo  I cannot for the life of me get the drawing accurately on panel using the Carder method.  Here are a couple of things I'm currently working on with questions.


This was set up with lighting from the side.  It is an approximately 8x10 study done on acrylic primed watercolor paper.  I used traditional oils rather than my normal alkyd paints and really like them.  Used 5 colors was all.  I like the shadows in this setup.  I did post this painting earlier and appreciated the feedback, especially about edges.







This is lit from above using the Carder method of lighting.  I didn't build the lightbox out of wood but used black foam core boards.  This is my setup.  The overhead light in the center of the room does not enter the lightbox but does allow me to have the same light on my easel and palette.  Note:  I will be painting from a photograph of a still life rather than from life.




I set this still life up and would like some feedback on the setup, if it can be improved.  I will probably do a small 8x10 on panel once I can get this finalized.  I call it "Hand Thrown" because the large vase was something my brother did decades ago in high school art class and the other two elements my son did in high school art class.  This is a photograph of the still life setup.



Is everything too bunched together?  Tried to keep in mind about overlapping objects and not "kissing" objects.  Also liked the light and the shadows with lost edges underneath the little green bowl (it was supposed to be an ash tray).  Color harmony also.  Any suggestions and comments are welcome.  This could also be painted as a 12x16 and think it would make a nice tribute to my brother and son.

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