Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sam: still life #2 14x11 "Garden Tools"

Critque by Peter on Sam's work

Sam’s Still Life #2 could have been handled much better if it was given a more smooth approach with the brush. The texture looks very rough and the negative space flows right into the positive space and makes it difficult to distinguish where each begins. While I like the dark tone and mood created in this piece it may have worked better if he had made a little more of a transition between the focal point and background.The pumpkin he created is very recognizable but he could have added more texture to it, rather than leaving it flat to make it pop out more. The background looks very plain to me and might have been enhanced had something been placed there such as a picture, another piece of fruit or another tool leaning against it to add that extra dimension. The onion also looks very small to me compared to the pumpkin and should have been made a little bigger. His illusion of light and shadow is confusing in this piece. While I can tell that light is coming in from the left side as he showed on the table, the shadow of the pumpkin does not match the figure. Too much of the painting was left dark and in shadow that there appears to not be much of a light source at all, while the pumpkin alone seems to be heavily lighted and does not make sense. I enjoy the colors in this piece, as they create a dark mood, but the colors in the background are a big distraction. He has added a little bit of yellow into the fabric to show just a little bit of light hitting it, but had this been added more to the background as well, instead of leaving it dark throughout most of it, it may have worked better. I also believe he has brightened up the onion too much and not transferred that light onto the tool and made it brighter on the back and this seems distracting. The colors added to the table right behind the tool match the onion perfectly but the tool seems like it is in shadow where it shouldn’t be because it was left too dark. I appreciate the form and volume in this piece, except for the pumpkin. He has added some form into it but had he not left the front of it looking so flat with a dull orange it would have really enhanced the 3-D effect. It is apparent that the pumpkin is rounded on both sides but looks flat in the front and the touch of gray added to the left side is a bit too much and had he added just a little less as he did on the right side it would have worked better. This piece seems to move pretty well, but had another object been added to the background it would have looked more visually pleasing. Also if he had increased the scale of his drawings just a little, so as not to have taken up half of the painting with negative space on the top and bottom it would not create such a distraction from the focal point. Also the scale of his piece throws both the pumpkin and the tool right off the page and they are not fully represented and it would flowed more nicely had they been fully shown.

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