Monday, October 09, 2006

Daily Painting Practice - Painting candles

As a line drawing, the composition looks very much like a city sky-line to me.
Sorry about the exposure on this photo, but it does help divide the lights and darks. This is what you should try to do with your eyes when looking at the painting and the subject. Squint your eyes to eliminate details and check values. Open your eyes to check color.

click on picture to enlarge it
Painting etiquette lesson 14: Always treat the viewers eyes with respect.
I think the blue is too much here. It takes your eyes away from the candle holders, but the details and highlights in the candle holders bring your eyes back. Your eyes can't think for themselves, they need guidance. There is nothing worse that can happen in a painting than confusing the eye of the viewer.

Backgrounds and foregrounds are so vital to the success of a painting. They seem so unimportant but they are not. I think there are several reasons why I struggle with them so much: First, I don't view them as an important part to the overall painting. Also, I avoid putting texture or detail in them (I like to skip past that and jump into the good parts), I usually want to finish quickly and so I just freely brush in the color (this sometimes works to my advantage and ends up being some of my better brushwork). The number one reason: (true confession time) I don't think enough of my paintings to warrant giving them the thought they require to make them better. There I said it, now I think I deserve a cup of tea.
click on the picture to enlarge it

oil on masonite panel

I had to rummage through our dining room hutch to find these. Everyone has candles and I imagine everyone has a wide assortment like us. I could have put a peppermint stripe candle in there too, but I thought that was just a little too, holiday card looking.

Self Critique Time:
Other than the background foreground confession above , I like the composition and the texture of the wax and metal. Overall, it was a great daily painting practice piece.


Lisa said...

Although I do like color, I think you made the right move with the fabric. This is truly lovely.

Carl said...

I think your "confession" was warranted, now you must "repent" and work on the background...overall I like the painting, but my old art teacher would have scolded me severely for paining the background around the candle holders.

Darren Maurer said...

Leave it. I like the color change on the fabric a lot. It makes the candle holders and candles the focus again. You were right about them and the blue fabric fighting for attention. Background looks fine to me.