Still life with veggies: I’m a complicated gal!

One thing I always tend to do when taking up a new endeavor is to rush in and take on the most complicated challenge I think I might possibly be able to handle, skipping over those baby steps that really build a solid foundation. With painting, it’s not just the challenge though: I worry that if I were to, say, paint apples, my painting would be one of five billion other apple paintings with nothing to really separate it. Logically I know, of course, that focusing on more simple subject matter is a way to develop a style (as a hack — I mean, a novice — I haven’t yet found my style), and that I’ve seen apple paintings that have taken my breath away. This tussle between my logical self and my…self-self (for lack of a better word) is on display in my latest still life: Veggies.

My logical self led the way: I was going to skip the shells and driftwood this time and find something from my fridge to paint. But me being me, I once again got over-complicated (in my defense, though, I’d eaten the other half of my still life the night before).

My proportions seem pretty far off here — the purple cabbage looks more like a purple Brussels sprout (though would a Brussels sprout leave a big purple mark on my husband’s pink shirt?) — and both veggies look a bit cut-and-pasted. Part of that, I think, is because the cabbage is actually half-eaten as well (it’s missing its entire back half), so it’s not casting the shadows one would expect of a spherical object. The pepper, though, also has that effect and I have no excuse for that (I…suck?). I suppose I’m at the stage with this whole painting thing where I can see my flaws but can’t quite identify why they’re happening or how to put a stop to them. It’s a frustrating place to be, but I know, logically, that it’s one step further than not being able to see my flaws at all (I’ve evolved from the Trumpian stage, happily).

Things I did well:
Decent composition — objects aren’t simply plopped in the center any longer — and decent values/contrast
I like the brushwork on the top part of my cabbage — it says a lot with just a few brushstrokes

Things I could do better:
Better integration into background

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