Lessons in Oils

Lessons in Oils

Good afternoon, Fiona. I'm back, as usual, with my nit-picking! The individual elements in this painting are, in my opinion, well executed. For me, it is the composition of this piece that lets it down. From the dark top left-hand corner, the eye is taken down through the toaster, (?), on the left, swept through the length of the boat shaped fruit bowl and on to the bottle, the bottom of which is just overlapped by the tray that finally takes the viewers eye out of the picture completely. I'm not sure how to proceed from here! I guess I all I can say is that I suggest you give greater consideration to the composition before you begin. And if all this sounds patronising from one who does not paint in oils, (or anything else of late), then I apologise profusely.

Well done Fiona you are already showing talent and enjoyment of the medium. With some very nice passages

Really good colour Fiona and all credit to you for using oils which I never ever have! I think that the objects would have been better grouped closely together , bigger bottle behind the fruit perhaps but that's just my opinion.

Hello Lionel...never nit-picking, more friendly advice I hope. Whatever I paint Lionel it's the composition of the piece that always lets me down. I actually cropped an awful lot off this one as there seemed to be a lot of nothing-ness and the pink and white 'thing' on the bottom right is a tea-towel and a rubbish painted one at that, so that had to go. It will be another picture that will get the gesso treatment. The toaster is a hot water pot. Don't stop giving me your opinion and never apologise. X

Thank you very much Dennis, there are some elements about this that I like but as Lionel has mentioned the composition is rubbish. I hope to get better!

Thanks Louise! Unfortunately I can't always choose my groupings as there are half a dozen others in the room and the items are set up on a central table, if I've been a bit slow to get my 'spot' and the others have already chosen where they want the items, I'm stuck. The others are late on in years and I was raised to respect my elders....so I don't make a fuss and just get on with what I've got! Lol. You should have a go with oils, you would succeed at anything you try, I'm sure.

But you don't have to paint them exactly as they are Fiona. Use the shapes and arrange them on the canvass as you like. Grouped together, whatever, but be prepared for someone to say that they don't look like that on the table in front of you....

Ooo... don't know if that's allowed.Lol! Tell you what, I'll give it a try and let you know if I get any flack...bet I do!

Hi Fiona. I think you've made a great job of the objects, they're very "painterly". You've portrayed the metal very well and the bottle is very good too. As Louise says, use artistic licence and maybe look up online suggestions about arrangements. Like you, I welcome good crit, sometimes you know something's not quite right and someone else can point you in the right direction. I have to say there's always something I struggle with in every painting - Whenever I "resolve" something, something else always turns up!

Or, do one at home with your own arrangement?

Hi Marjorie thank you for your encouragement, I really DO appreciate it! This is all new to me; the medium, the subject and also learning with other people. I think once I get the 'formula' of composition and observation I'll get it cracked....ha ha. But I'm determined to improve, so the spirit is there, I just lack the skill at the moment. Thanks again.

I'm in the middle of one I started at home Louise, only a very simple one but it's a start. Thanks for giving me the odd prod.....I need it sometimes.

Another idea..what about a 'stone bridge' in oils?..LOL

AAAAAAARRRRRHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where's the 'Gordon's'bottle! I'm still seeing a therapist since completing the last one. Lol.

I seem to remember that there was more than one....that scene would look good in oils though, purple heather etc..(you can paint the green bottle after)

I tend to agree with the comments about composition, but I realise how hard it is when you are just given a certain view of the objects. Louise's suggestion to just move them mentally where you want them is a good one (Shirley Trevena does this all the time). However, that said, the painting of the objects and surrounding areas is really, really good. I love the suggested reflections on all three components and the oils, applied quite thickly, give a good texture. I think you are coming on in leaps and bounds and good for you - I wouldn't have the bottle to try oil painting!

But Fiona has the oils to do the bottle! Ta da!

Fiona, I only paint in oils because quite frankly, I find watercolours difficult to get to grips with. Your painting shows a good loose style, and as the others have said, it's early days, but what you have achieved in such a short time is a very good platform to go forward and enjoy this smooth, "buttery" medium which I'm sure you will come to love.

Fiona, I think that bearing in mind this is all new to you, you are doing very well indeed. Once you have mastered the medium, I think you will be more able to concentrate on the 1M +1 other things needed for a ' good picture'. I only paint in watercolours. One day I'll try oils and I hope I get on as well as you!

Four in total Louise...no thanks to yourself and one or two others...lol. I'm not going to bite, heather or no heather....not yet anyway. You will be the first to know....promise! By the time I've finished with the green bottlle, I won't be able to find it and I won't care what colour it is!! I certainly wouldn't be able to paint it.Lol.

Thank you Thea for your constructive ideas and advice, much appreciated. Norman, I'm already enjoying the texture and versatility of oils, thank you very much for your comments.

Thank you Jennifer for your lovely comment .....it's smashing to have all this encouragement. When I first posted this one I hated it, now I see it as a stepping stone. I hope the next one will be much better!

Fiona, I like the bold colours and the bottle and all of it really! Your doing fine keep it up! :)

Thanks Sarah for all your encouragement.

It's been said. I think individually the objects are rather good and you use of colour is lovely all round in my opinion. As Louise says, be free to move things, but remember the light ....

Many thanks Gudrun, I'm enjoying the feel of oils very much, it's just getting all the other components together. Could take awhile!

Hang on Studio Wall

Second attempt at a still life in oils. Each lesson I go to I pick up such helpful advice and instruction. It isn't, so far, showing in the results but hopefully it can only improve. You may notice that some of the objects in the paintings are repeated.....practice makes perfect!Lol. I can't remember exactly which colours I used but I only have seven; cerulean, u. marine, perm. rose, persian (indian) red, Indian yellow, Lemon yellow, viridian and white, Old Holland brand.

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Fiona Phipps

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