Another Chiaroscurro study, this one 8x10 on MDF from a setup in my studio. I painted the pear a few months ago, but put the painting aside because I wasn't happy with the composition. By the time I got back to it, a stand-in pear was necessary. All comments, suggestions and critiques appreciated. I'm especially interested in what you think about the background color. My daughter liked it but my wife felt like it was confusing because its too similar to the reflected light on the shadow side of the pear. Right now I'm happy with it and like the ambiguity, but I could grey it down a bit while leaving it the same value, Anyway, thanks for looking - now onto a bigger painting.


  • Hey there Martin... the wine glass is awesome! ... as is the silver plate. I also like the background... Love the colors in the pear.... great job!
    The only thing I find a little off is the pear shadow... not sure why... some help I am!

  • Thanks, Shirley! That is helpful - same area my wife was focused on. I've been looking at it too long, so its hard for me to see this with a fresh eye, so I appreciate it! Paint is still wet so there's still time for changes.
  • Martin

    Since you used two pears you will have to retitle as pairavaggio.
    I cannot make any worthwhile suggestions to this awesome work.
    Background, composition, shadows, lighting, values and frame are all contributing to a great painting.

  • I agree with Shirley this painting is awesome... but about the pear shadows...
    I'm no so good with photoshop but I make some correction to your original for explain my point of view.
    The upper shadow of the pear is transparent there is no reason why the lower must be so thick.
    But if what I see is not a shadow but the dark side of the fruit I'm totally out...but as me others so I think the problem is this one
    Ciao Maria
  • tjstjs -
    edited April 2013
    First if you get a compliment on your glass from one of the best glass painters ever - Miss Shirley - the Queen of Glass, then give yourself a big pat on the back!!!! :) Cause I totally agree with her observations including the cloth and the plate as well. I don't think any other painter could have done this any better including Carravagio himself or some other master like him!

    I just love this painting. About the shadow side of the pear? I don't think there is anything wrong with it at all! Maybe cause the other object - the glass is so beautifully lost in the shadows that we as viewers are searching for this as well on the pear? I don't know.

    The only thing that I would consider is maybe darkening the shadow behind the pear on the light side (viewer left of the pear) ONLY. I think it would give more definition and show off how beautifully painted it is.

    And then if you like that better see if you just slightly lightened the area behind the pear on the shadow side. I think it would give the pear more of 3d quality and balance out the composition maybe? But DON'T touch the pear! Try playing with it in photoshop first.

    Whenever I am unhappy with an object, I always think it's the objects fault but in fact I have found to first look for what's behind the object like the background. Investigate the easiest fix first.

    But personally? I'd call this little masterpiece DONE!

    ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^
  • Thank you Shirley, Denis, Maria and TJ for your compliments, comments and extremely helpful suggestions! Lots to cogitate over. I really really appreciate it.
  • Really really well done Martin! I like it just the way it is. Colors are great. Like others I think the star of the show is the glass! =D>
  • Denis....very clever, I like it! ".... pairavaggio" :-bd
  • Thanks, Gary! I did a few tweaks so I'm ready to call it finished and move on.
  • edited April 2013
    Thanks guys - Jim, I think you're right. BTW the boost in chroma from the original is just my bad photoshopping skills. The actual painting is closer to my last photo, but slightly less bright.
  • edited April 2013
    Martin another beautiful painting...you certainly have a flare for chiaroscuro...your work has a wonderful old master feel to it that I love!

    As for the pear...as I squint and look at it...I'd like to see a little more transition of color into the shadow...just a bit...to give the pear not such a sharp edged look..and make it look more rounded into the shadow...Oh...love the name too!

  • tjstjs -
    edited April 2013
    Oh Martin I truly loved it before but now? I LOVE IT! Gosh it's just amazing. It has such a beautiful representational quality to it. It's realistic but it still has the gorgeous qualities of an oil painting. I can't really explain it I just know it when I see it. I am in awe!

    One of my all time favorite still lifes. I just love everything about it ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^
  • edited April 2013
    Thanks you guys - what a nice way to start the day! Savannah, coincidentally I was reading a short article about Caravaggio last night and learned that abrupt changes from light to dark with hardly any midtones is called "tenebrism." Not that I knew that while I was painting or that I was trying to achieve it, but what do you know - there's a term for everything! I'm starting a painting now that's going to break with the chiaroscuro stuff (which I love doing), so I'll be excited to get your reactions!
  • Beautiful piece Martin, and I love that frame.
  • This is gorgeous, totally agree with Anderson ^:)^
  • Martin, I just love your work :x so fantastic!! In my short time on the forum I've come to look forward to your posts (what's on your easel and your insights). Thanks.
  • Thank you both very much! As you can tell, I really enjoy coming here as well and learning from all of you.
  • Thanks Martin for the info on Tenebrism....always interested in learning new things...will have to check it out..
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