Still life - Mandarin Orange

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  12 December 2012
Still life - Mandarin Orange

Hi, this is my first still life painting. Very simple but challenging for me. It's a mandarin orange.
Glad to receive crtitiques and suggestions.

Happy new year.

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File Type: jpg Still life-mandarino.jpg (97.2 KB, 41 views)
  01 January 2013
Just a better impagination.

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File Type: jpg Still life-mandarino.jpg (92.0 KB, 32 views)
  01 January 2013
Still life - salt jar

Another still life practice. Salt jar with two light sources

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File Type: jpg Still life-salt jar.jpg (80.4 KB, 26 views)
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by NdY: Updating.
Just a better impagination.

A couple of notes:

It's a good attempt, but there are some areas you could use some work. The first and most important thing is the background/border - get rid of it. A white or toned background is perfectly acceptable in a still life like this, and what you've done distracts from the focus and leads the eye away from the focus, and cutting the background beneath the peel is breaking the plane that the fruit is on, which creates an optical illusion, and distracts the eye. It's a graphic design thing, it's not appropriate for this kind of painting.

Second is your lighting - you have highlights all over the place, but indicate a bright light source coming from the upper right - this needs to follow throughout the piece, especially in the peeled part. You also need to build up your volumes of the shapes with lighting, especially the peel - peel is thick, but yours looks gooey and almost like a liquid due to no hard edges and shadows on the edges. You could use more color and definition in the inner peel, too - and I know the structure of the inner peel is missing, it's very fibrous and has a definite pattern. Your leaves need some more volume and lighting, too - and take a good look at the leaf on the right, if you have a light source like you indicate with the shadows, that leaf would be fully lit, and share color with the other leaves.

Your shadows end a bit abruptly, too - they could be softer, or harder edged. They don't look convincing as is - they're a bit dark, compared to the lack of deep shadow in the rest of the objects. You also have an opportunity to play with color - your shadows should be bouncing orange around, and the shadows in the peel should be saturated with reflected color. Shadows have color, and using black like you have doesn't quite work - if you had these objects in front of you in real life, study the shadows, there's a world of color there, and nothing lets you explore that like still life.

Third, your textures are getting there, but you need to follow through and make it more consistent - you have the bumps rendered on teh whole orange, but in the midtones there is none. To the eye, you go from bumpy, to smooth, to bumpy.

Finally, play with the composition a little more, you created a diagonal that leads the eye out of the frame - I would lower the point of view a bit, put the peeled orange up a little, and position the slices and peel to create a loop that keeps the eye in the focus if the painting. Your shapes need some work, too, the unpeeled orange is lopsided, and should be rounder.

Like I said - good start! Keep going, and stop worrying about the presentation with the borders, and study your objects and environment more, you're going in the right direction.
  01 January 2013
Thak you very much.
Just a point on the shadows, it is dark orange not black
  01 January 2013
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