I’ve been working on this one for a couple of weeks. I don’t think it’s quite successful, for two reasons. First, in the leaves I kind of got too stuck on fiddly details before I established the large masses, and that affects their dimensionality, especially on the left one. Second, the composition deviates from the still life convention of basically depicting some objects in a box, looking at them against a vertical backdrop. In this composition, you are looking down toward two objects on a flat piece of crumpled brown paper. That would be easier if I hadn’t chosen to light them from behind. I thought I could make the perspective work with the shape of the shadows, with the graded lighting (dark to light, front to back) and with receding perspective in the texture of the paper. While I think I did OK, I’m really not quite happy with it. I like deviating from still life compositional conventions, but they are conventions because they work. I’m still learning which rules I have to follow and which I can get away with playing around with.
It’s painted on an ABS (styrene) panel, a new product from Real Gesso. I found it really nice to paint on in oils, with just the right grab and absorbency. Full disclosure: they sent this one to me as a free sample, but I am sure that I will be buying some. If you are tired of pre-primed canvases but don’t want to have to make your own painting supports, these are a good choice.