"Hammer Gun" - 5th Carder painting

Here is my fifth oil painting using the Carder Method. Sorry to stay with the "dead bird" theme, but Chardin and Daly are huge influences on my work. I'm open for your honest critique … I'm seriously trying to get better. My biggest challenge is dealing with edges, and where two colors are coming together. I'm open for suggestions. The painting is 11" x 14".
[Deleted User]MikeOMelissaRosanne


  • I'm not a fan of the dead bird theme, regardless of the inspiration. Your painting is skillfully done though. There appears to be a glow coming from the top of the fruit and along the top barrel of the gun -- is that what you mean by challenge dealing with edges?
  • edited September 2014
    I like the composition and the technique. Well done. I know where you're coming from with the glow - Gregg Kreutz and David Leffel like to let color bleed out of the lit objects. I think Kreutz calls it burnout. The thing to keep in mind when doing this, though, is you're creating the suggestion that the air is foggy or misty and that's what's lighting up. It doesn't work if the background is too dark (i.e., darker than anything in the foreground), because that creates the impression that the air is crisp and clear, rather than atmospheric, so it wouldn't glow. The background would have to be lighter but low chroma. I'm trying to do that myself in a painting I'll be posting soon.

    As far as edges go, I know that there's reluctance to kill edges that you see when painting, but take a chance and do it in areas that you don't intend to be the center of interest. The lines of your books as they recede, for instance could be softened. Edges and backgrounds are hard (and fun!), but really make the difference. Both are trial and error.
  • shotgun....wouldn't the wittle birdies be splattered... bloody feathers? the birds are too neat, imo, and the shell horizontal has no color in the reflection. i like the overall realism, seems equal in quality but too tight, imo. the open table space then the tight elements plays tricks. the cook books look floating. maybe you are still working on this? hope this helps, i usually don't critique but you asked. if still in progress, the book pages could be adjusted, less brightness, and the lower left is confusing, imo, the right side is great. it looks like a big round table until i look at the lower left.
  • Sorry for the slow response… thanks for all your input and help with regarding "the glow". I think I will tone it back a bit. Kingston, I am a bird hunter and have had bird dogs most of my life; Pointers, Labs, even a pointing Lab, and various German dogs. And Martin, I appreciate your thoughts on the edges. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to comment. I will continue to try to improve the painting.
  • Both of those would make a nice painting!
  • Excellent painting. Well executed (no pun intended). I like the classic feel of it which comes through the use of the dead bird and gun. The only thing I would do different would be to eliminate the extra space at the bottom right corner by moving everything up toward the viewer several inches. I love the reflections and maybe you left the space so they could be seen better but it results in the extra space I mentioned. Your paintings are wonderful. I think you have excelled in learning the method. Well done.
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