Thursday, March 5, 2009

Afternoon Tea

I forgot about the tomats completely and got to working in front of a still life. My head hurts after doing this one. Acrylic on canvas, 11X14.


  1. mackb, I like the depth to the painting. My favourite bit is the tulip in the blue vase. Nice.

  2. Waah, sniff, sniff, another tomapple episode on the way I see. It's a rose I copied off a box of Kleenex. I worked for days on this which is why I haven't done any other paintings for our daily thing.

  3. this is nice. yes, it looks like it took some time.

  4. "What's in a name? .....a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."

  5. Bruce, it shows that you took your time with this painting, it is quite lovely..

    You still need to work on your eclipses more, but you are getting better. I love the coffee pot!! The coffee with milk looks very realistic. re you trying to paint realism here, or impressionism? I ask as I would hate to be giving you advice for realism, when you were going for impressionism. I would hate to put discourage you in any way.

  6. I think this is looking good Mackb. My only nit would be the elipse on the mug.

  7. Ok, how do you paint an elipse freehand?

    I tried so hard to get this right. And JJ, realism and impressionism don't matter, anything you can do to help is appreciated. I guess I am leaning towards realism for now so that I can return to impressionism, my first love.

  8. To draw an eclipse freehand you need markers. I mark out the sides. draw a faint cross, then draw your eclipse around that. you can erase the lines afterwards I do this in acrylic too, I use a 2B graphite pencil. You can't get away from good drawing skills in any medium if you want to paint realism.

    Do you draw with your easel flat or on an angle. If it is flat your line will be distorted.

    If you are drawing a coffee mug, glass, vase, draw the sides first, the the eclipses top and bottom.

    Do some research. Get a book from your local library on Basic Drawing skills.

    Here is a video. copy and paste the link into your address bar..

  9. WOW! ....Bruce I am impressed sure did set yourself up one hell of a challenge on this one and you did an excellent job!

  10. I am going for a cup of tea now after seeing this one ......

  11. This is the critique I gave Bruce on WC. I spent a couple of hours late this afternoon on it. I hope he is still talking to me after he reads it. I have reposted it here, for everyone's benefit, as (a) we can all learn from a good critique, and (b) maybe one of you will see something I have not addressed or am totally wrong about. I love a good critique, and a good discussion to go with that critique..

    I can see that need working on.........

    All your eclipses are slightly off, as has been already pointed out. It is best if you draw the sides of the object first, then put the eclipses in. Draw a cross, across the top and bottom of the sides. The depth of the centre part of the cross will determine the depth of your eclipse, and then draw the eclipse around it. (I am not explaining that well ) I emailed you a good example I found, on how this is done. When drawing your eclipse, always remember there are no straight lines in an eclipse, and no starting point or stopping points. It is all one graceful curve.

    I like the glass mug, but the handle is not quite right. I love the shapes you have showing in it from the container behind it, perfect, but the handle itself seems to be bending back towards that container. You could easily fix that by adjusting your shadows and reflections on the bottom part of the handle. I also see now looking again, that the side of the mug by the handle isn't straight either. Is that tea or coffee in the mug. I love the transparency of it. I think the handle of the spoon in the mug needs a little work, it needs defining more, given an edge, as it looks a little like a feather right now.

    The left side of the blue coffee mug is not straight, the other side is. I am wondering about that highlight in the shadowed area on the lip? The coffee looks wonderful, pretty much the colour of coffee and milk as far as I remember. I drink my coffee black. I really like the mug, the ridges on it are great. The shadow under the mug is perfect.

    The handle on the little jug also looks like it is bent to the left as well. In this case a highlight on the back of the handle will fix that. The shadow inside the jug is very good. That is a very nice sugar and cream set you have..

    The container at the back also has a wonky right side, minor fix with a liner brush at the top of the coffee mug. I like the lid askew like that. The spoon also needs an edge on it.

    The blue vase is a lovely touch, and apart from the wonky eclipse, it is great. There is no water in your vase though. How can I tell you say? Because if there was water in the vase, the stem would be slightly off centre where the edge of the water level would be, slightly fatter too, as water magnifies things some. The rose is gorgeous.

    Now to the teapot. I really like how you painted it, and it only needs a little tweaking. The shadows confuse me on here, though. You have the inside handle shaded, and a shadow on the top side of the spout? If the light was coming from the right, then yes, there would be shadow on the inside of the handle, and a shadow on the left side of the knob just as you have it, underneath the shaped in part at the bottom as you have it, but the shadow should also be on the left side of the spout, and the left side of the pot. I wouldn't have put a shadow all around the coffee pot lid either, only on the shadowed side left he right hand side as lost edges as the light is hitting there, if the light is coming from the right.

    Everything here has hard edges, this is something I am teaching myself to look for more, these days, as I am often missing painting hard and soft edges too, and having them pointed out to me in "show and tell" You need soft and hard edges to give the painting form, and depth. If you close your eyes a little, and squint, you will see which edges to blur and soften, those are the ones that you loose focus of when you squint.

    I am finding it hard to see where your light source is coming from because your shadows on the coffee pot are contradictory, and in other parts of the painting. When you set up a still life, it is a good idea to set up a lamp as well, a table or floor lamp, either on the right or left of your scene. Don't back light or front light, as these light sources are extremely difficult to paint convincingly. You could put the still life by a natural life source, a window or open door, so you can see definite shadows and reflections. Always take a back up photo of your set up just in case you need to tweak your painting.

  12. Sob, sob, sniff, sniffle...JJ is dedicated to teh craft of arta dn I truely appreciate the crit, all kidding aside, I have leared a lot just on this blog and her comments on WC.

    I still don;t get teh cross thing, but it shows I need to practice on a separate canvas before working on the real thing.

    Tahnk you all for your kind words.

  13. JJ, do you mean eclipses or ellipses?

  14. Sheesh a girl makes one little typo hey Mimi rotflol...

    Bruce I am glad you are learning from the c&c. I only give what you ask for. I expect a good c&c back too you know..

  15. You have really challenged yourself with this one Bruce!!

    Good composition, although personally, I would have only had 3 -5 does look a little cluttered IMO
    The light source is confusing as the handle of the pot and the knob on the lid, should have a highlights not shadows

    Good form, just keep an eye on the verticals as some are not straight. The eclipses need working on more... just takes practice Bruce ;)

    The handles on the jug and glass are flat, need more values and highlights, just practice drawing them foreshorten i.e. the handle facing the viewer...ONLY draw what you see, not what you think you see!

    The teaspoons in the glass and on the table have no values...some dark values next the highlights will bring them to life and make it shine ;) I think the spoon in the glass has disappeared into a glass of acid as I can't find it!!! Just joking Bruce ;)

    Well done Bruce!!

  16. Tahnk you all for your crits and kind comments. I need both.


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