Monday, June 15, 2015

A New Focus

You know how you wonder why a painting isn't working, but you haven't been able to figure it out? That's what happened to me with this painting. My eye kept looking at the handle's shadow between the two front tomatoes. That became my center of focus, and in fact I wanted it to be the cup.

After reading Richard Scott's book Sketching from Square One to Trafalgar Square I asked myself what interested me most about this still life? How do I emphasize the cup and deemphasize it's shadow?

I changed the value of the shadow and that lessened the contrast. This helps redirect my eye. My eye now goes back and forth between the front tomatoes and the cup. This change worked for me (although this photo doesn't). Richard Scott's techniques for seeing and sketching have helped me think about these techniques in painting.  Have I said before that I really liked this book?


  1. Wow! I needed to read this! Thanks Robin for posting this info. Love this painting. Love all your work!

  2. I personally love shadows and shapes that form somewhat of an abstract design within the realistic painting, I see what you mean and like it but I would have worked more with the shadow shape. Carol Marine has some wonderful shadow shapes hidden in her work which I like. Great that you did the explanation and mentioned the book. :)

  3. Thanks Susan and Mary for your comments. I'm glad this post started a conversation and I agree with you (Mary) about CM's shadow shapes, they're great.

  4. I have the very same book you're referring to. Fabulous isn't it? And so is your painting :0)