Starting with greater contrast between the lights and the darks makes for a more dramatic composition. Adding drama to a composition is a good way to break out of old boring habits. There is nothing worse than looking at a still life arrangement that has no life in it at all.
Peony, Pears and Rose
original by Peter Yesis
oil on canvas board
The rose is the star of this scene with the others playing a supporting role. To me, the rose seems to be playing to the crowd, like a great stage actor holding the pose and soaking up all the attention from the audience.