Sometimes after working hard on a painting, I find that I get tunnel-vision and can’t judge the work clearly, so I put ‘Green Cloth’ away for a few weeks so that I could see it with fresh eyes.

Green Cloth-Before setting aside

The first thing that struck me was that the tan vase was the focal point, not the green bowl, as I’d originally thought. That seems obvious now, as it’s the brightest object with the most value contrast surrounding it. I still want to bring some more focus to the green bowl, though, to balance the pot. I’ll experiment with adding some more darks and lights in the bowl to create contrast to draw the eye. I also noticed that the red tassel and cord weren’t getting enough attention. I’ll add some more details- some highlighted strings and a few brighter highlights.

Sometimes after I’ve painted something as faithfully as I can, I stand back and see that I have to make some changes for the sake of the composition. Since my spotlight is on the right, the black cloth is brighter on the right. Though I painted this correctly, I ‘d like to bring more focus to the left side of the painting near the green bowl. I thought I’d brighten the highlights on the black cloth near the bowl to bring some attention there.

Green Cloth-Before setting aside

I think that the fold of green cloth falling down from the upper left was drawing the eye up and out of the picture. I can think of two ways to prevent this. First, I’ll darken the cloth at the top to mute the attraction. Next I’ll add some detail on the lower part of the cloth near the green bowl to keep the eye busy there.

Finally, to keep the area near my focal point interesting, I think I’ll add some brighter highlights to the yellow crystal.