Want to throw this in the trash...please critique...

Last I worked on this was in September....I tried to get "cute" and paint a bunch of abstract designs...however...something is dreadfully wrong...the only thing I like on it are the nice soft colors....please tell me whats wrong....need your help! I'm so confused I don't even know which way I should hang the thing........


  • I would not toss it. It's a good painting.
  • I love it, love the subdued colors! I like the one on the right as far as which way to hang.

  • I'm inexperienced at painting, but I believe I have a fair eye for detail. The only thing I see is the dish and spoon and the empty part of the pie dish--I don't know exactly, they look flat and you can't tell what they are made of. As they are, they look kinda like old, weathered, dull plastic. Maybe trying to make the spoon look more like shiny silver, the dish like a high-gloss ceramic dish, and the pie dish like lustrous aluminum or shiny glass would be the improvements that might make it all work. There needs to be some highlights, some sparkle--the ice cream could use a highlight or two as well. The rest of it, which is the hard part, all looks great!
  • edited December 2012
    The subject reminds me of my childhood. Somewhere along the way of growing up, I expressed my desire to have pie for my birthday rather than cake--I never liked cake much. My mother always made me two of my favorite pies each birthday--one cherry and one peach.
  • My first thought was what Charley said about the bowl and spoon. They seem a bit washed out next to the pie. Adding more depth there and highlights may be all it needs. I think it's a nice painting. I like how creative you are. I hope you don't throw, crush, or stomp on it ;)
    I like the one on the right.
  • VangieVangie -
    edited December 2012
    Vincent said:

    ... Spend the time in mixing before you ever touch a brush to the canvas. Make sure your colors are accurate. Take as much time as you need... days... just mixing your colors precisely.

    I've found that actually "putting the paint on the canvas" is the easiest part, if you've throroughly and painstakingly paid your dues in the preparation stages: the color-matching and mixing stage of the painting. That's where the battle is really won or lost.

    So, so true... preparing/colour matching/colour mixing in different values is the most challenging and the most time-consuming part of the whole process.
  • Melissa...thanks...for your encouragement...there's hope!

    Mark......thank you for your nice comment...I don't know why but whenever I try to paint light, pastel colors...I have difficulty getting my values correct....need lots more practice that's for sure......The actual colors in this painting are very nice...and it always amazes me how I can get such fabulous colors with just the usage of 4 colors & white...

    CharleyBoy & Ronna...appreciate your input...I think your both...absolutely...right in saying the spoon, the "thing" that everyone thinks is a bowl is supposed to be an empty dreyer's ice cream carton...made of thick paper....and the spoon is an old, small dull silver color...it appears washed out because I've cut the painting in half (on a diagonal) against the washed out background on the right...it has produced one big washed out area....Oh..THANK YOU ....I just couldn't see it until you pointed it out...I'm going to work on this...will post when I fix it...

    Vincent....I'm still smiling and laughing at your post...appreciate your straight forwardness...and "tell it like it is" attitude.......in other words...quit whining, trash it and move on. I really want to do that...however...I'm not a "quitter".....the beauty of oil paint is that anything can be reworked and fixed....I love the challenge of making something better. I WILL FIX it...it may not be a masterpiece...but I won't give up...
    In real life...the colors are not chalky at all....it's just my lousy photography...You are also correct in that I need to be more aware of just placing the color down and leaving it....I tend to blend too much...oh...will I ever learn???? Thank you for your input and putting lots of laughter in my day!

  • Vangie...just read your post...my color mixing is actually very good...even though it looks like the problem...it really isn't...I'm very precise and accurate with this...Mark's dvd taught me well.....thanks for your help and comments...
  • Hi Savannah! I like your painting very much and wouldn't change anything! I know that goes against your thoughts and some suggestion by others. However, I really like the composition, soft colors and would hang it per the pic on the right. To me, having something shiny would break up the beauty of this terrific soft/subdued warm painting. Just goes to show each of us can view things quite differently. If you can't define what's broke, maybe it's not broke! :)
  • Savannah said:

    Vangie...just read your post...my color mixing is actually very good...even though it looks like the problem...it really isn't...I'm very precise and accurate with this...Mark's dvd taught me well.....thanks for your help and comments...

    Hi Savannah.
    Sorry that you may have misunderstood my comment... I actually wasn't commenting on your painting or your painting technique... far from it and I wouldn't dare (!!!), as I know you're a good artist (based on your paintings and your critiques).
    I was just agreeing with part of what Vincent had written, as a general thought. I didn't want to click "Agree" on his actual comment because I didn't agree with his suggestion to get rid of your painting (1st paragraph), although I'm sure Vincent wrote it in jest.

    I do so love your painting! I didn't want to comment on it because I'm no expert and I actually doubt my artistic eye... for example, I really prefer the left one, but Mark and Ronna prefer the one on the right... so I'm still analysing/digesting why...
  • edited December 2012
    Hi Savannah,
    Don't toss, let dry! Put it up for a couple of days. Then take another good photo of the painting, and see what is going wrong.

    Place a mirror in back of you for a third eye. This way you can judge how close you are to your goal. It's very helpful.

    Ice cream is hard to paint, and its mostly due to smoothest and some hard to do shadows. I tried it also, and had a field day. Just had to keep telling myself to come close.

    More detail is needed on the spoon. You need some found edges, soft edges, reflective light, reflective color, and depth shadow. Its soft, you're not showing metal as cold or hard (if it was described as an emotion).

    Your painting is beautiful. I thought it was truly a photograph. I say let it dry, and start over with your mixed colors, not too much blending. Try this trick on blending (1, 2, 3 stop blending) move on to the next part of the painting. Don't fix, unless its extremely necessary.

    This is just an opinion, and I'm commenting base on the photo. If I was standing in front of the live painting, I'm sure my view would be different.

    I love that you're taking a different approach towards painting. Your work is reminding me of Trompe L'oeil on canvas.
    I've always been a fan of your work, and this piece is just another great work of art.
  • mycmyc -
    edited December 2012
    I actually always say when something jumps at me in a painting, but to be honest I can't get what looks wrong to you.
    For me it looks perfect like it is. I would not change anything and hang it like in the right pic. Hey it's a fantastic painting!!!!!!!!!!! =D>
  • Savannah, why would you throw it ?? You will only be better and better..you need to look at this painting and realize that in the future !! I actually love your painting..I like the first photo best to hang !!! Keep the good work !
  • Scratching my head wondering why you have a dead leaf in your cherry pie? See you got me thinking again!!! You and your quirky thinking ... love it! :D
    I agree about the spoon... I like the painting a lot Savannah!
  • I really would love to know as part of my education why the right one is better than the left one. Thank you.
  • For me, the handle of the scoop leads my eye into the painting.
  • It has been reported in a study that most people enter a painting on the left when they first look at it...I know I do. When looking at the orientation of the painting in the right pic, I agree with Ronna about the handle of the scoop leading the eye into the painting. Most of the 'busy areas' in the painting are also on the left - an example is the crisscrossing dough pattern. The right side of the painting is background/negative space which stops my eye and bounces me back into the painting. If you hang the picture the way it is orientated in the left picture, you have to cross the negative space and then several features of the painting (eg., crisscrossing dough, edges of the pie) want to lead me out of the painting. Bottom line is it may be a 50/50 tossup and really depend on your personal tastes and what grabs/holds your attention.
  • VangieVangie -
    edited December 2012
    Thanks, Ronna!
    Thanks for all that, Gary! Interesting!
    I must also read/research more about it... as well as gather all my notes on composition. @-) :)
  • Miryam & Bhopali..thanks for you comments...so glad you like it...

    Shirley...you know me well.. Ah..the dead leaf...had to just add some drama to the painting.....and break up all the angular.round objects with something edgy....

    Vangie....since I did an aerial camera shot of the set up....the right one is what I painted my photo from...but flipped it to the left one because I thought the right one looked like a giant sucker...ha! I don't especially like the spoon pointing upward on the left pic...so now you know...why I'm confused......

    Ronna......glad you noticed the scoop leading your eye into the painting...now that was deliberate.....

    Gary...you brought up some wonderful points...appreciate your sharing info...

    Liz....you may just find an extra package from Santa in the mail this Christmas...

    Cynthia...you are SO correct on that spoon....I made a hard object "soft"...and thank you for the tricks on a mirror behind me (I will try this) and 1-2-3 blending...both I will be trying...thanks!
  • LizONeal said:

    I like it! If you throw it away do it at the nearest post office addressed to me!

    I so Love Liz!!!
  • Love you right back Cyn!
  • I love it, love the subdued colors! I like the one on the right as far as which way to hang.


    I agree with Mark I also love the subdued colors. With the colors subdued it has a nostalgic feel to it!

    I like the top view as well. I think what you did here is pretty darn awesome! There is some great perspective with the cherries. I would love this painting in any room. Wonderful!!!!

  • I like it a lot. I wish the cherries were a deeper red, but that's just my opinion.
  • I agree and all the comments have merit but there is one area that bothers me a bit. I prefer the one on the left as far as the set up. It is very difficult to get depth with the on top angle that you used but it does set up an interesting piece. The light seems to be coming from overhead and slightly from the right. That is based on the shadow from the ice cream scoop and plate. There is no shadow from the pie pan and that makes it look flat almost as if it is setting down in the table cloth. I would punch up the shadows on all of it and add shadow at the bottom of the pan. The cherry that sets at the very top of the pan had a good shadow but all other are either missing or faint or at least not as dark. I believe that is partially what is giving a washed out look. The center of the pie is very good and the drawing is great. It just needs some punch. David Leffel is always talking about the shadows. Over and over it the shadows. I think he is correct. The contrast would give it a more dynamic look. Good luck, you will get it :-c
  • Thanks to Liz...(she just bought this)...this painting is going to a happy home!

    Gary....You got me "pegged" well because I did grow up in the heart of the midwest, Iowa..spent lots of time out on Grandma's farm and my first pie I ever made looked just like this...with homemade ice cream, hand churned...so, you are picking up a part of my history in the painting, without even being conscious of it!

    I was going to try & change something...but after Guru Mark left his comment...on loving it and the subdued colors....I feel good about not changing it now!

    Also, Hal Groat is a wonderful artist & I love his painting of cherry pie...and I thank you for your comments....however, I deliberately changed the colors in this to be very subdued and soft (another experiment)...even the cherries...the photo was quite garish...really orange colored crust, bright red cherries, etc...so I attempted to change things...which came out well because I love the actual colors....I'm hoping Liz will really like it!
  • The muted colors really appeal to me....enough to write a check! What more needs to be said than that? \:D/
  • Wow, you sold your painting. =D>
    I grew up in Iowa too!
  • That is really nice. So real
  • Congratulations Liz! You bought yourself a wonderful painting! And congratulations to you as well Savannah for producing a painting someone loved and wanted it to be part of their home. You both came out winners....isn't art great! :)
  • Thanks everyone....its always a wonderful feeling when we sell a piece our art...
    knowing how much time and love that we pour into it...and someone actually loves it too.....well....let me say..."it just warms my heart"....

    PS...the sale of this goes toward my new "Printer" that Santa forgot to bring to me this Christmas... :x
  • Savannah my trash bin it is not so far from you :D
    My printer is about to retire ... but if you want ;)
  • Yum yum.. It made me hungry at 2am! Maybe it's a little too neat where the pie is cut. Please don't throw the painting :)
  • She did what I first suggested....threw it in the mail to me! Yay me!
  • Congrats Savannah, and Liz awesome! It's a stunning piece and worth it!
  • Don't ya just love a happy ending? :D
  • LizONeal said:

    The muted colors really appeal to me....enough to write a check! What more needs to be said than that? \:D/

    DAMN GIRL! I was going to make an offer if you hadn't beat me to the punch, or the pie, as the case may be.


  • You can see it when you come to visit!
  • YAY! Got my painting today and as I expected it is even better in real life. Looks like you could reach in and grab a cherry! Thank you sooooo much Savannah.....I truly do love it. Only worry it will get my sweet loving hubby bugging me to bake him one every time he looks at it!!! Doing the happy dance all the way home with it to try and decided on a frame. I have a ton of corners from www.pictureframes.com that I can use to decide color and what I think will look best, then I can go online and try it out too. Just kinda like having the corner pieces so I can see how they look joined. Some things you love but they just don't make a good corner. LOVE IT THANK YOU!!! :-h
  • Congratulations Liz and Savannah! Liz, when you get your new painting framed how about a picture with Wahlon staring at the painting with fork in hand?!
  • Lol....will do. My brother saw it when I opened it and said it made him hungry. Wahlon has not seen it yet since I locked myself away working on that portrait all evening. Will share it tomorrow after a few touch ups.
  • Hi Liz...I'm glad this found a happy home...and arrived safely....and most of all you love it!
  • Great...This post just made me hungry! LOL, nice work
  • Savannah, could you mail that pie to me, I would like to have it with tea....yum.... :-c
  • Kaye...I understood that this painting has already an home...
    Correct blood sister???
  • beautiful, great colors and depth, now I want pie.
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