Monday, June 22, 2015

Challenge 54 - Still Life - Basket of Fruits (Old Masters Painting)

I am back after visiting  New York and as many museums as I possibly could. Majority of them does not allow to photograph, but some do. And I did take advantage of their generous kindness.

This visit proved again and again that there is no better motivation to create beautiful art then spending time looking at beautiful art. Similarly, as we all already know very well, there is no better way to learn, than learn from the best.

The last composition was very challenging for majority of the artists, and we all appreciate so much the brave attempts of a few who did participate and encourage all of us at PADT. Thank you very much!

About the composition

For this challenge and PADT artists I have chosen a portion of fairly large still life composition from the Metropolitan Museum of fine art. This really amazing painting has very pronounced all important elements of a good still life composition we can all learn from.

You can create a similar still life composition of your own, or choose only portion of this one such as the plate with figs or branch with fruits, as long as you pay attention to the following important elements.

- the light source is positioned at the top right corner, consequently all cast shadows follow the opposite direction, bottom-left.

- all shadow edges are very soft
- branches in the background partially appear from and partially disappear into dark background
- the back edge of the table is barely visible, and only behind the basket, to help communicate depth in the space
- the objects at the front are intentionally positioned closer to the viewer almost offering themselves, partially off the table so that they can create long and pronounced drop down cast shadows
- the colors of the objects in the foreground are brighter and more saturated, the colors of the objects in the background are darker and significantly less saturated
- the eye level (horizon line), even though not so distinctly pronounced as it would have been if this had been a landscape painting, is positioned at the brightest portion of the fruits in the basket, around top left golden mean.

Please send your paintings by July 26, 2015. The next challenge will be posted on July 27, 2015. 


Lena Adams said...

It's a detail of "Still Life with Flowers and Fruit" by Juan van der Hamen y Léon, 1629. Full image at wikipedia

Syls said...

Wow,this portion of the painting is daunting ,but the whole painting is absolutely amazing.

Lela Stankovic said...

Thanks so much for your comments Syls. I am glad you like the painting. I too was quite amazed when I first saw the painting.

Lela Stankovic said...

Dear Lena, thanks for visiting and for finding the link to the original painting.