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Study in Edges and Painting Surfaces: Oil on Aluminum 8x13.5 and 4.5x6.5

I found these Aluminum panels at an art store and I'm studying about edges (I have a tendency to have too many hard edges in my paintings) -
I'm not sure if they're too sloppy looking even though they did take me all day complete.  I concentrated and was thoughtful, I'm just not sure if I overdid it with hard vs soft edges.  Thoughts very much appreciated.  Here is the smaller one:



  • I love the fruit.  I think the edges are great.  I'm looking at the shadow edges and wonder if those should be softened.  Sometimes they're softer than we realize.
  • The fruit are great, I also agree about the shadows.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    You really captured the gnarly, lumpy nature of apple twigs.  I like in the second painting I can't tell where the painting ends and the frame begins.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited June 2017
    Great Job. The first has a good edgy feel to it. The left's shadow edge is crisp as a Gala. The others are ok but softening further wouldn't damage the painting but not too much because there is evidently a strong light. The small one is an enigma. While the apple has a small aura around it, I can't tell where the edge of the panel ends. Is the wood frame part of the painting? The wood has an apple flavored highlight/reflection on the right. Also the shadow looks a little incomplete. I doubt very seriously that I would be able to pick out those details if I didn't have the magnification turned up. How do they look hanging in your studio? Fantastic I'll bet.
  • I think they are both wonderful. Congratulations on some excellent work.
  • Very clever. You are obviously having fun with these. That's all that matters. You have terrific skills and honing them anymore is just for confidence. Your judgement of whether to soften an edge is better than mine I can tell.
  • ...and by the way, the giraffe is missing a leg.  My new glasses should be here in a few days so maybe I'm seeing things.  :o
  • I see considerable improvement in your skills since the last time you posted, great work! inspiring!
  • the painting and brushwork is fantastic @Julianna :)
  • Here is a discussion about portraits. But it has got some relevant info about the edges, if you search edges it will show the discussions specifically. it is almost like a formula.

  • These are really nice, @Julianna. I love the way you've left many edges vague and done the dark areas in thin paint and the lights in thicker paint. They look so juicy! Well done.
  • Folks

    Here is a post from 2012.

    Observations on the edge

    In my nefarious travels through virtual space I have been summarizing what other artists are saying about the use and benefits of edges in paintings.

    Here is a distillation:

    One of the keys to good edges is variety.
    Edges clarify and unify a composition and affect how the painting is read.
    Edges have a role in defining shapes at their boundaries.
    Too many distinct edges can stiffen and isolate/disconnect the subject from the background.
    A few sharp edges focuses the viewer on the subject and anchors the center of interest. Our eyes are comfortable with this normal view.
    Edges can be soft or blended with a smooth transition, lending depth and harmony.
    Edges can be lost (+shape is the same value as the –shape).
    Edges can be broken, with an abrupt path. 
    Edges can be inquiring, acknowledging and emphasizing small variations on the perimeter. 
    Edges can have a close value (perhaps a warm and cool version of the same hue), for example, showing distance effects on two parts of a same colored wall. 
    Shadow or soft edges can ground objects and avoid a floating appearance.

    Any additions to these guidelines?

    ForgivenessPaulBSummer[Deleted User]
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    @Julianna ; A good thing, your twigs remind me of this sculptor Giacometti:


    And I think that you are going to have those edges down in no time.  These examples look so good.  Summer
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Summer said:
    ...and by the way, the giraffe is missing a leg.
    That's hilarious!  It took me a day to understand this comment.  Thank you @Summer for making me laugh.
  • Y'all don't know how much I respect and appreciate the advice and suggestions and comments.  Thank you ever so much.  @dencal ;  I would like to particularly thank you for helping me so much with my struggles with linen - I am loving linen now and the key was no medium as you suggested - it has changed me and the way I paint, truly.  Everyone else, much appreciated and did try to soften the shadow but screwed it up because it dried and I was only left to scratch out to the aluminum - i'll fix it later but I think it will look better = I was experimenting with hard and soft edge combo but I see that very hard edges grab too much attention.  @Kaustav thank you for that link!  You are a plethora of information.  @Summer I would say "thank you" but I'm not sure because now, you have ruined that gnarly stem for me - once you see it, you can't unsee it.  :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited July 2017
    Julianna said:
    @Summer I would say "thank you" but I'm not sure because now, you have ruined that gnarly stem for me - once you see it, you can't unsee it.  :)
    I'd say you are the winner here because you successfully painted gnarly stems.  The giraffe is just an aside and a bit of humor.  This phenomenon happens occasionally with our paintings.  I love it when it happens to me and I never change a thing.  You are now officially a member of the club.  Can't wait to see your next painting.  :)

    Here are more examples of this phenomenon:{moz:distributionID}:{moz:locale}:{moz:official}&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl
  • I love the edges!  Love the paintings, too!  Don't let the artist curse get you down. (My college drawing professor called it the chattering monkey that won't leave well enough alone.)  

    The paintings are exquisite.
  • thank you @Eliza - "chattering monkey" is a perfect way to describe it!  @Summer - I may be missing it, but I can't find any of your paintings posted.  I would love to see some of  your work! I am relatively new here so perhaps I am not looking in the right place.  Do you have some of your paintings posted? 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited August 2017

    @Julianna. Thank you for your question. I had a goal in mind when I joined DMP: take two years to build a complete studio with the help of Mark Carder and my husband, learn to paint realism using the Carder method, and submit one painting.  I'll post it below. She’s a Rat Terrier and weighs 10 lbs.  She is our rattie and we've named her Mona Lisa. I painted it for the animal challenge at the time and also to show my first completed painting using the Carder teaching method. It looks devoid of color, but there was a surprising amount of pinks and oranges.  I paint other methods, but this is my favorite way of painting realism. I’m looking for a signature style of my own so I don't have to keep stealing other painters ideas and hope to start posting paintings again when I think that I am on to something, the way that Rob and Kaustav have done recently. Can’t wait to see your next painting, you are learning very quickly. Summer

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