Still.Life.August: Plateau-y Phoo-ey!

30 Aug

August was a busy busy month! In between National Day, Presidential Elections, a short holiday to Krabi and general mopping about having to start working again, I struggled to remain committed to my weekly Sunday sessions.

My dad’s progress in oil painting has been on the surge lately. So proud of my dad! 🙂

In contrast, I have seemed to hit a plateau. Though I take full responsibility of not practicising outside of Sundays, it is nonetheless somewhat discouraging.

Oh well… it is supposed to be a leisurely pursuit and not a competition so, it’s all good. 😉

So… I didn’t have any epiphanies this month. *shrug* Just a lot of lessons learnt.

Still.Life in Real Life

It was quite a range of materials that we had to work with this month!

I had to miss one Sunday because of travels but I am hoping *cross fingers* that I will one day paint a landscape from one of the photographs I took.

Which one to paint… hmmmmm…..

They all look good right?

Ok… at least in comparison to the paintings  I did this month!

*drum roll*

Presenting… Still.Life.August!!

One of these did not have the benefit of Teacher’s magic hands. I would think it is immediately obvious which one. No prizes for guessing which one though. 😉

Sometimes the works I do are so thoroughly “fixed” by Teacher and other Association seniors that I feel like it is no longer from my own hand.

Yet, when it is ENTIRELY from my own hand… it would look … well… bad, really.


To be helped or not to be helped… how do I learn?

Click here for web album to see the work in progress photos.

August 7: Wine bottles, peach & grapes

From Still.Life.August

This painting had a LOT of help from Teacher. If you take a closer look at the work in progress pictures, you would notice that the bottles have shifted quite a few times. The importance of composition! And how it escapes me…

But the grapes were more or less untouched. 🙂

I am glad to say that my study of grapes for an earlier project has paid off. Can’t say the same for my peaches!

Oh oh oh… did you even notice how extra fruits have magically appeared? Twas to fix my faulty composition. Bleh~

August 21: Sea-shell Montage

From Still.Life.August

The shell was my idea! And my shell. 🙂

I decided to paint with a tiny canvas this time round and focus just on my lovely shell. Heehee…

My first time painting with shells and it was education as always.

The highlight of the session was when I had two “Masters” come work their magic on my humble little piece – my wonderful teacher (洪老师) and the senior Chairman of the Association’s Art “club”.


Chairman shared with me about colour mixing for painting shells – how it should be a mix of grey pink/brown/white instead of the brownish hues I initially used (see here). And he pointed out how my painting looks flat because there was not enough use of white and highlights. You just need to toggle the web album to see how much difference a different colour tone makes to the depiction of a shell.

En-lightening indeed!

He then passed me the brush and asked me to continue.

I sat staring blankly, absolutely stumped on what else I could do.

Fortunately,  Teacher came by. Seeing how comatose I was, he took over and worked his magic. With a wave of his brush here and there, he finished with a flourish and said that all that was left for me to …

… sign my big name.

“HOW CAN?” I said, exasperated, “I did next to nothing to create this work!”


August 28: Claypot Cabbage

From Still.Life.August

This last painting needs a whole lot of work!

The cabbage is a disaster! (Even with help from a senior who tried her best to teach me)

The tomatoes look garish!

The chilli is floating!

And the claypot – which is probably the most decent looking of the lot – is just F.L.A.T. (Fabulously Lacking Artistic Technnique)!

So much to fix… *shake head*

No wonder nobody was sitting at my spot to paint. I must have picked the “Experts only” spot. :S

7 Responses to “Still.Life.August: Plateau-y Phoo-ey!”

  1. Little Pixy Boots August 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    When you find something is flat, keep adding more contrast to the shadowed edges and the highlighted areas – more dark grey, greens, blues to the shadow areas and for highlights, more white and whatever your teacher told you. Add the colours slowly. Pay attention to other fluctuations in colour and light reflected on the surfaces. Daylight is not just blue-white, it is often split into different colours when it hits a surface (think of how rainbows are formed). Hope this helps, jc….

    • Little Pixy Boots August 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      Also for tomatoes, it helps sometimes to add a very light yellow-green (even if it is imaginary) to areas which are more yellow in colour. Fruits, human skin, vegetables are often consisting of a mix of contrast colours. The contrast colours can be subtle and just serves as a highlight to the main dominant colour. E.g. in Thailand I once observed how an artist added a dark emerald green to human flesh on top of beige. Hope I’m not being naggy….

      • yuehann August 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

        Not naggy at all! 🙂 Appreciate the little tips! 😀

  2. Far from normal:3 September 13, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Wow. You are a talented artist! Keep drawing you certainly will get far with it! (I really love you shading techinques. I am still a beginner do you happen to have any tips?

    Awesome blog(:!

    Sincerely, “Augustina:3”

    • yuehann September 13, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks for the compliments Augustina! I am a beginner too!! The only tips I have for you – read more, see more, try more… The best part is that you always will improve with practise. Have fun and keep at it! 🙂

      • Far from normal:3 September 14, 2011 at 4:31 am #

        No problem!

        And thank you for the advice I will be sure to check this place more often!


  1. Happy Anniversary Still.Life! Here’s to 35 paintings! « Still.Life. - October 23, 2011

    […] Still.Life August: Plateauy Phooey […]

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