Endeavors Into Oil Painting (and painting in general.)
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  1. #1
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    Endeavors Into Oil Painting (and painting in general.)

    Okay I want to say this first, these paintings aside from one failed attempt at a still like in acrylics are the first paintings that I've ever done. That aside, I want to continue to grow and learn as much as I can about how to paint.

    I've recently joined a beginner oil painting class, however I'd like some more critique on these. these are my first 4 paintings done in class. the first two are black and white the last two are in color. My most recent one was done in only 4 hours of class time. I had to miss a day and didn't have as much time as I wanted to be able to finish it, so take that into account when critiquing it.

    Thanks.

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    Last edited by why_00; October 13th, 2011 at 12:48 PM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
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    These look really good...you showing a strong ability to focus on the subtle details of a subject. I especially like the rendering of the beige fabric in #3--the way you used brushstrokes to define the topology of the folds works really well. The texture of the ceramic bowl in that picture also looks very convincing. I like the composition of the first three very much.

    #4, as you noted, is a bit weaker...the tangency of the wineglass with the top of the picture looks kind of odd. Also, I'm not sure if those skulls are actual human skulls (or realistic models thereof) painted black, or if they're some kind of sculpture. If they are actual skulls, you'd do well to paint them with the same dispassionate attention to detail you showed throughout the other three paintings--right now it feels like you're painting what you "know" those skulls look like, rather than what you're observing.

    Keep painting.

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  3. #3
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    Thank you for the reply, I really appreciate it!

    It's good to know that the technique I've been using is working out well. However I'm kind of worried that the little brushstrokes will become sort of a crutch for me since I can paint way faster that way. I don't think I'm learning how to fully manipulate the paint well with that technique. I think I'll try to go about my future paintings a different way. Try different styles.

    I really struggled with the wine glass. I think if I had enough time and I could actually go in and study the glass and how it related with the objects behind it I bet I could do better. I also think that the proportions of it are slightly off and it looks tilted towards the viewer a bit. Thanks for pointing that out though. I'll make a special note to be careful when rendering transparent objects, especially clear ones like that glass, in the future.
    The skulls on the last one are really bad plastic models(that I'm pretty sure are disproportionate). I could probably take a picture of them next week to your you what I mean. I tried my best to actually take my time with those objects and to paint what I saw. I did intensify the color a little bit on the white skull, but I honestly don't think that I'm too far off. Maybe I should go take that picture of the skulls just to have something to check proportions and what not.

    Also, now that you mention it, the composition on the last one does look kind of weird. I hadn't even noticed that before. Thank you!

    I most definitely will continue to paint. I'm really enjoying it! Our next assignment is a self portrait, but that is after we learn how to stretch our own canvases.

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    I really need help on this one. I know the proportions are way off but for the life of me I can't figure out what exactly is off in each part of it. I've played around with it for a couple weeks. I've tried asking my teacher, but he says that he has told me that they are fine. I can't really just accept that. It looks way off to me and it's gotten to the point where I think I just need a fresh pair of eyes to look at it.

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    It's not like there's any one specific thing that's "off" here--it's more that you need to slow waaaaay down and observe the contours more closely. If it were me, I'd put this one aside and start again on a fresh canvas, being a lot more analytical in your drawing. Two tricks/principles that might help are: using a pencil to measure angles and being aware of the "negative space" between forms. (Links below.) Also, you will probably have an easier time of it if you don't crop into the figure like you're doing now. Leave some space around her.

    Hope that is of some use.

    http://drawsketch.about.com/cs/figur...oportion_3.htm

    http://www.learn-to-draw-lessons.com...o-drawing.html

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    Good start on this one! Interesting pose too. I think her head is too large. There's also a bit of a mismatch between her upper and lower arms. The lower arm looks a bit too short. Be mindful of composition next time. You have a lot of fairly useless midriff, while the head has been cropped. Think about where the action is and respect the space it needs. Good luck with it!

    Please Sir, I'd like some more.

    www.rogersewardart.com

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    If I could start over I would. But this is an assignment that required us to build a canvas strecher and strech unprepared canvas over it, gesso it and then start to paint on it. It would simply take too much time to try to redo all of that and then repaint the image.
    I think I might be having a hard time because this is a self portrait from a mirror. It's been really hard to measure anything without messing up the pose. I've had to paint with my left hand for most of the arm that is facing the viewer. Not that this is an excuse, I should be doing better.
    I will definitely do my best to apply the techniques that you linked me to. I know the first one, but honestly I didn't even think to use it in all my struggles the past week and a half. the second one though I'm not too sure of how to apply it. Maybe I should do some drawings trying to draw this way before I could apply it to the painting.

    Resward: Is that all there is wrong with it? I'll play around with it tonight, move the lover arm over a bit to see how it looks. I knew there was something wrong with that arm. is there a way to shrink the head without erasing everything on it that I've done so far? Haha. I might just have to start over on that.
    As for the composition, I might have failed on this, but I wanted most of the attention to be drawn to what I'm eating not me eating it. It's going to be this juicy, disgusting hamburger that is dripping fat all over my arms and is going to be falling apart in the back. My thinking was to put that in one of the places where the rule of thirds intersect, since it's supposed to be one of the most interesting spots on the picture field. The photo of this is cropped, and the picture actually extends a little bit further to the left that what is shown. I thought it looked pretty good on paper, I was torn between this post and a front on view with the hamburger in the center, but I chose this one because it seemed more dynamic. What things do you think I could do to make it more successful?

    Thank you guys for your help. I'd still love some more critique if anyone has it, but I think I'll do some more painting tonight keeping in mind the things that you guys pointed out.

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  8. #8
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    You're right that there's stuff wrong with it (all of these pieces show you need to apply perspective to your drawings). But as you said, you don't have the time to make any drastic changes so i'd say finish up on this one, and in your spare time start brushing up on structural drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by why_00 View Post
    But this is an assignment that required us to build a canvas strecher and strech unprepared canvas over it, gesso it and then start to paint on it. It would simply take too much time to try to redo all of that and then repaint the image.
    Um...by "build a canvas stretcher," do you mean "buy four stretcher bars and put them together?" If you don't want to prime a new canvas, fine--but it's not quite the onerous task the above-quoted paragraph might suggest.

    Quote Originally Posted by why_00 View Post
    I've had to paint with my left hand for most of the arm that is facing the viewer. Not that this is an excuse, I should be doing better.
    For God's sake, next time save yourself the misery and shoot a reference photo. There's a reason that the great self-portraits through history (Rembrandt, van Gogh, Beckmann) have been painted from comfortable positions, and now you know what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    Um...by "build a canvas stretcher," do you mean "buy four stretcher bars and put them together?" If you don't want to prime a new canvas, fine--but it's not quite the onerous task the above-quoted paragraph might suggest.



    For God's sake, next time save yourself the misery and shoot a reference photo. There's a reason that the great self-portraits through history (Rembrandt, van Gogh, Beckmann) have been painted from comfortable positions, and now you know what it is.
    No, I don't mean just buying stretcher bars. I meant actually making the canvas stretcher. Buying the 1x2's and 1/4 rounds, cutting them, glueing them, nailing them and then stretching the canvas onto that. I'm in a painting class, and we were required to do it. Also, our assignment forbids us to take a picture for the self portrait and was supposed to not be in one of those "comfortable poses". It was supposed to be done all from a mirror.

    Sloth boy: I really haven't focused on perspective at all. I guess it shows. At least I now know what to work on. Thanks.

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