Simple still life

I have put together a quick still life in my room for a shorter practice and this is the result of a two hour session. I prefer painting portraits and I never got to set up a proper still life with good lighting and background, so I just used the kitchen light and an old stool but it was fun.
Please feel free to share any advice/feedback



  • @tamasgodanyi I love the reflection of the spoon and the coffee pot. It makes me want to have a cup now..
  • Very nice work and only a two-hour study to boot. 
  • Good realism for 2 hours. The inside of the cup being bright, even if the light was actually on it, makes it look flatter because the brightness of the inside of the cup is conflicting with the outside of the cup. How the shadow is on the left side helps to make it read, but I think extending that shadow across the inside of the cup would help that affect. 
  • Love the yellow ochre highlights, good wood effect.
  • The dark overall palette gives it a classic feel. Good work. Maybe adding a small lighter or brighter object to the set will make it even more interesting.
  • This is great for a two-hour study. Good values. I love the bright reflection on the coffee pot. The only minor problem is the drawing of the cup - the ellipse looks slightly off. But still great for just two hours. 
  • Thank you @JerryW and @A_Time_To_Paint for the kind comments!

    @dakmediocreart I agree completely with that, you described the problem well because I think the cup was just not the best choice as an item to begin with in the composition and also the light was coming from above slightly so the cup appeared flat. I was thinking about making the front side of the cup lighter to balance this but I just left it like this thinking that it is just a practice:) Thank you for the feedback!
  • @outremer, Thank you! I truly like these dark colours, especially the ones that make up the stool. You're right, my thought was that the cup stands out on its own being lighter and cooler then the stool and the background so I was trying to salvage this by balancing the background a bit on the left, but the right side was left too dark. It would be a good idea to add something to it, but to be completely honest, I would rethink the whole setup if I were to paint a longer project:)

    @tassieguy, Thank you for your feedback! I won't lie, painting shiny metal objects are very rewarding:) You're right with the cup, but I don't think that's the only thing that's off, sadly. The handle is poorly painted in my opinion as well but at least it was a fun project
  • I like the spoon and coffea pot best. I agree that the cup is a little flat. Like the looseness of your brushwork.
  • Like the old world feel to the painting. It looks quick and loose which inspires the viewer to think that the artist reached for and captured the freedom to express a moment of personal feeling in time as opposed to the other end of the spectrum of intense study, measurement, questioning, discipline, perfection to duplicate exactly what reality is without human emotions. I once saw an artist draw a horse with only a few lines, very quickly, and I was utterly amazed at the fluidity and feeling that she was able to capture so quickly and I wondered to myself, could she duplicate that, or was that something that happened just at that moment where it all came together, her experience, knowledge, and that feeling of letting go and allowing 'something' else in to create what your feeling just then at that moment. 
  • Thank you @adridri! I actually need these practice painting to keep me from getting lost in details, so I am happy that it worked.

    You expressed this thought very beautifully, @whunt. I know what I am about to say is me going off at a a tangent, but what came to mind reading your comment was my admiration towards some figurative artworks in surrealism/expressionism, in which the artists portray a very simplistic representation of a human figure. Yet even by using a few lines and brush strokes, it can express motion, posture, a state of mind. I often wonder how little information can express so much, and I find it very fascinating.
  • I also love @whunt 's description. It does have the feel of an adept sketch, capturing the essence without labouring until it feels tired. It has that freshness to it. And yet a painting, more than a sketch. The composition is simple, unified and dimensional. The truth is in the way the simplest of reflections sings, towards us, with a story of surface textures.
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