I received this image from an artist who lives in a far away land. I have a number of comments to make on it. Bullets!
- The rows of whatever that is (radishes?) growing across the foreground lead the eye rapidly across the painting and against the rabbet on the right, instead of leading the eye into the picture.
- The perspective in the house is off, at least the roof line. The lines of recession should be to a vanishing point that is the horizon and that is our eye level. Everything that is above our eye level will slant downwards and everything below our eye level will slant upwards.
- The shapes in the mountain in the middle are too similar and need more variety.The shadows back there seem too heavy also. The darks back there are as heavy as those in the foreground.
- I think the chroma should drop out of those greens as they recede. The lawn to the left of the house is a strong as the foreground greens. There is an old saying that yellow is on the tip of your nose, red is in the middleground and blue is in the distance. I think you need to neutralize the greens with a red as they recede.
- Every note in this painting seems saturated, I think it would be a better picture if some notes were, and some were not. All color is no color. Good color is not a matter of the most color, (all color is no color) but of cunningly selected and applied color.
- The sky is too blue. The light in a sky comes from the yellow and red notes flying in there too. You can almost always get enough blue into a sky, it is the other two colors that make skies have light.Perhaps you might have underpainted it with a warm color and then threw a little blue down into that.
- The thing I most want to point out though is the paint handling in the sky along the left hand top of the mountains. That series of brush strokes echoing the line of the mountains kills the illusion of the sky. They need to either be invisible or pulled in strokes away from that mountain. That gives mean idea tomorrows post. I will write about how to handle a passage like that and work up a little paint demo to go with it. I remember learning that long ago and I don't remember ever writing about it.It is an important little part of handling in landscape painting and it comes up a lot.
I feel I’m against this big wall of “What to Paint?” This is mainly because, I want to sell my paintings not just do one painting after another. My heart goes out for still life and some Persian Modern/Easter paintings (I was born and raised in Iran until I was 17) and I am not too big on outdoor landscape paintings. I feel there is a very little market out there for Still Life or my Persian Paintings and most people buy landscapes and landscapes of places they know .So what is your advice for this confused Painter?That's an easy answer to give. If you don't paint what you want, you probably won't paint it well. You say you like still life, perhaps you should be painting that. Still life painting has supported many artist, it is a dependable genre that never goes out of style. Still life is also an excellent way to build your drawing skill.
I would not assume that a landscape is the only thing that people want. You don't have to sell the most people, just a few. After landscape, still life is the most popular genre with buyers. I agree though, they may have an aversion to Persian.
Think about what sort of still lives people might want in their homes. Flowers are always good, people often like still lives containing kitchen or culinary subjects for their dining rooms. There are "genre" painters of still life too, I know an artist who has built a long career painting his collection of antique toys, and another who collects and paints colored glassware and bottles.
Buyers usually are fond of still lives that look real to them. The most salable still lives are generally tightly painted and illusionistic.Carefully rendered still lives are usually the most sought after. I think most of your customers will be women, so you might think about what colors and subjects women might want when decorating their homes. Many still life painters work in sight size. Do you know how to do that. There is a good market for smaller still lives I have noticed.They need to be nicely framed, still lives are generally a decorator item. People have an expectation of a formal sort of painting, that may seem a little unfair, but generally that is what they want. A small still life is often seen as a decoration for a formal dining room or hallway in a more traditional home. There is also a market for large tightly rendered highly colored still lives that are more "contemporary". You probably know the kind of thing you like, if you make it there are probably others who will like the same thing.
Do you know what type of paintings sell best? Good paintings. Take care of your art and it will take care of you. If you are having trouble with sales, don't think "how can I make more salable paintings?' Ask yourself "How can I make better paintings"
We are coming into the time of year when people begin to turn their attention to their homes, in the early summer it seems they are a little less likely to do that, perhaps they are in vacation mode or concerned with other things. I work hard to get my galleries stocked for the upcoming fall, that is often the best sales time in the year. Although that may vary depending on where you live. I always think that the longer the year runs the better sales will be. Early spring and the beginning of summer are often slow. So now it is essential to get those galleries stocked. You can't sell from an empty cart.