Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Finally ready to Start...

Thanks to everyone on this site who have generously answered my questions so far, and thanks to Mark for his willingness to freely share his gift with others.

I have completed my studio redesign, built my shadow box and color checker, mixed my SDM with my palette of 5 colors and rehearsed my 6 questions... and I am ready to begin my first ever "still-life"! (I know... kind of anticlimactic). I have been doing art for many years and somehow avoided doing a still life for that entire time. In the past 5 years I have really become serious about my art and focused on oil painting, and that journey led me here to revisit the fundamentals and then some. Though I have had some decent sales, I really need to elevate my game.

So, without further hesitation... I begin. Wish me luck!

I am starting with a very simple setup-I don't want to discourage myself right away. (keep it simple, stupid!)

I do have one more question... would you start with the object in the background, or foreground?


  • djfedeli

    I would start with the object in the background. Either way it's not crucial.
    However, I would lose most of the one third empty space on the LHS.

  • djfedeil, I like the composition, the orange and blue go of luck :)
  • I like this but (just my opinion)-i would like it better without the curtain and i would trim away some of the sides as they don't do much for the main subject -which, are beautifully done. B-)
  • Again -just an opinion - no, i was thinking like this. But really it so subjective -if you like it the way you did it, you should keep it that way! :-?
  • Okay, so here it is. The original photo was shot on my iPhone, so the colors weren't all that accurate, nor were the details. Obviously, I worked from the shadowbox. The colors are more accurate, but far from perfect.
    To say this was a painfully humbling experience would be an understatement. It doesn't matter how much you know (or think you know), there is always SO much more to learn!
    I'm not terribly thrilled with it, but it is all about learning-each one will get better (I hope!!) So, have it my friends!!
  • rgr... you are (WAY) too kind.
    I'm currently sitting at "tolerable" (but fading fast).
  • I had to zoom in, I thought it was a photograph.
  • djfedeli said:

    rgr... you are (WAY) too kind.
    I'm currently sitting at "tolerable" (but fading fast).

    Artist's curse, my friend.

  • Great work!!! What's next???
  • Mark, thanks so much for your opinion! It's really great that you take the time to be involved with everyone.
    I am struggling to let go of the way I have been doing things for the past 5 years, so I probably did blending where I shouldn't have and strayed from the color checker at times. I really want to commit to this method in order to improve my skills.
    I am torn between my "Neo-Romantic" landscapes, which require very little color accuracy but a high level of composition, and my roots in portraiture which demands accuracy. My mentor once looked at all of my illustrations and told me I had a lot of talent, but all of my art looked like "work" to him. He told me I needed to relax and enjoy myself, which is one reason he taught me to paint with oils. I love doing those landscapes, but recognize my need for discipline too. It's easy to do what comes easy.
    I have been watching your 8 hour video on portrait work and am really anxious to do a portrait, but this still life made it clear to me that I am not yet disciplined enough to put the strokes down and move on to the next one without blending. My portraits are just not high-enough quality yet. (If only my arms were six feet long, then I would be far enough away to realize that blending is an alligator-arms disease!)
    I will probably do another still life next in order to try and break my habits, or at least embrace alternative ones. If sales were better I would just keep doing the landscapes but it has been sporadic. I seem to be loved in New York and Europe, but the rest of the world has yet to notice me. UGH! Skill first, then marketing!!
    I'm a mess!
  • "I seem to be loved in New York and Europe" ... and this is a complaint?? :-/
  • My Wife & cat love me! :D
  • Sorry-didn't mean it to sound that way.
    No complaints, it just makes no sense to me.
    I'll take all the love I can get, miserable wretch that I am! :D
  • Don worry about it - none of us are even close to perfect! :D
  • Just curious how you arrived at the items in your still life?
  • Hi junebug,
    To be honest, I didn't put a great deal of thought into it. I liked the combination of the orange and blue, and the cup seemed challenging. Pretty much a bunch of thrift store junk.
    I didn't want the first one to be too difficult because I wanted to focus on learning the techniques more than worrying about the end result. I just wanted to get started painting. Perhaps on the next one I will give it more thought.
    I am currently ruining a landscape, so perhaps I should have gone right into another still life! :(
  • LOL re: landscape.

    I'm having "empty shadow box syndrome," a cousin of "blank canvas syndrome." I've been around this house 10 times looking for things to group and paint and can't make a decision. Maybe I'm thinking too hard about it. I guess I'm secretly assuming my painting will be worthy of keeping, so I want the subject items to be wonderful. hahaha
  • djfedeli said:

    I didn't want the first one to be too difficult because I wanted to focus on learning the techniques more than worrying about the end result.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head as to how I should look at my first project.
  • I went to the local thrift store where they have a ton of this kind of stuff. I bought a whole bunch of items that I thought looked good and then just mixed and matched. It's a really cheap way to stock up on potential subject matter for a very small investment.
Sign In or Register to comment.