Today while waiting for a clear gesso application to dry on a hardboard surface being prepared for a winter painting, I started to play around painting a Red Candle still life (oil pastel 7×5) and have a question for you.
I’m not entirely sure that I like the painting well enough to send it out as a Christmas card, I’ll probably end up with about 10 (winter landscape) paintings to choose from, but I’m giving serious consideration to this painting – a nice surprise for a spur-of-the-moment painting.
I’m torn between which version of the painting, Red Candle, I like best and wanted your opinion. I took three cropped photographs of the painting – if you wouldn’t mind telling me which one you think would make the better 7×5 holiday card. I would really appreciate it. I’m getting close to choosing one of these three versions, but I’d like to hear your thoughts, even if you think I shouldn’t consider any version of this still life and stick to using one of my winter landscapes – you won’t hurt my feelings.
Thank you in advance ~ you can click on the image to see a larger version of it.
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All are great but I think I love no 1 dear Mary! I don’t why but feeling candle light brightly there! But all are really lovely❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so much Violet. Have a lovely day!
I like number one the best.
Thanks Tom, appreciate it!
For me no:1 definitively does it, has a good balance but the reason I really love it is the reflection of the candlelight on the back wall which sends the message out. I would probably darken the upper corners slightly to frame in and bring out even more the warm glow, but that’s only a thought. Looking forward to see what you will decide! Love your challenges where you bring us all in!
Hi Eva, thank you for your suggestion of darkening the upper corners and thoughts on this still life. I’m still undecided on the painting, as you’ll see.
For some reason, the flame in No. 3 looks more “real” to me….warmer somehow, maybe because it’s closer (larger) in the picture. Like very much the colours though as opposed to just a winter landscape…..
Thank you A!, we’ll see what happens in the final version. I like the close-up as well but am probably leaning toward #2. Thanks again, I appreciate your thoughts.
I like version #1 the best because with the distance the message is more mellow. It’s a very beautiful painting, Mary. 😀
Thank you Jet, I like your description. Thanks again!
I really appreciate your painting. I like both 2 and 3. 🙂
Thanks Amy #3 was my preference too!
I’d go with number 1 🙂 (Second choice would be number 2)
The more I dabble in pastels, the more I appreciate your work! 🙂
Thank you so much and I do like your nod to version #2, that I’m learning toward. Thank you for your lovely comment.
I also like the 2nd one the best. The effect is a bit different and I love it. What a great card to receive.
Hi Karah, nice to see you and I’m with you on #2 – appreciate your thoughts. Going back to make a few more adjustments and then the reveal.
I’d pick no1 for a card, it’s more balanced as a frame. However, because as you know I love details[!], I’d use a blown up detail in a small circle somewhere – either on the back or inside the card. Either way, this will make a lovely Xmas card! :-0
Love your creative thoughts Marina and idea, gives me more options. I have some changes and then will reveal. Thanks so much – hope you didn’t experience any damage with the earthquake. Take care ~
Thank you, Mary – no damage thankfully [how did you know?]. Athens wasn’t hit too much. However having experienced 2 big ones, even a small one can bring back dark memories.
I saw it in the news – when I lived in San Francisco I experienced several and left several months before the last big one hit. They are scary as all heck, at least with tornado’s you have an idea where it is and if you’ll get hit. Earthquakes are a whole different matter – so happy to hear you are okay. w/no damage. Have a great evening.
I like the first one best – but all are just lovely.
Thank you Fiona – you are so kind! Appreciate your comment ~
You’ll get a wide variety of responses, mine is that I like version 1 best, I like the relationship between the candle and the background, and also the colour in the background in this version; also that you can see the handle of the candlestick more and it is an interesting shape.
Hi Cara, thank you so much for your thoughts – I like the elements you considered. I’ll be make a few small adjustments and then the final revealed post. Thanks again.
I think I like No 1 Mary … maybe just because the dark blues reach out a little more to me … but then the flame in No 2 seems a little more glowy … and then in No 3 the composition being closer seems to have more impact … ooh it’s a tough call 😉
Poppy, you are so great – thank you for your perfectly appropriate assessment!! Wonder what will happen on the canvas today, stay tuned – you’ll soon see.
For what an ignoramus’ choice is worth, I prefer no. 3.
I like the slightly darker wall: it makes me think that the candle is often lit, right there, and that there may even be a faint trace of smoke on the wall … which would be rather suitable for a greeting candle, don’t you think, Mary ?
Oh my you are creative M.R. I like your thoughts – thank you and stay tuned for an update.
Dear Mary, I can’t decide between no.1 and no.3… But they are all so beautiful. I loved them all. Thanks and Love, nia
Thank you Nia – appreciate your thoughts on the painting!
I like #3 best……..up close and warm…but then I’m nearsighted! I also prefer more object, and less empty background..
Thanks Cynthia, I prefer the closer version of this one – I’ve some changes ahead. Stay tuned for the surprise.
Love the contrast of the blue and red!
I love version 1 the best Mary for a card. But then I like everything you paint!
Thanks Karen, you are very kind!
I don’t know why, but I get a more positive reaction with the first one.
Thanks Frank – appreciate it!
I like number 1 and I like it, it sends the message of light.
Mary notices that you click on the photo and it goes big, I think that what they are doing the people stealing your images, in the world press when you add media where it says ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS you click none and it will not go big it will stay the size you have. Maybe you should do this to your images so they will not steal them.
Doris this is great information and I didn’t know – I’ll be going in December to make some adjustments to my blog, this being one of them. Really appreciate it! Thanks so much ~
I kept thinking how to help you, Lisa from Ecuador went through the same thing, and yesterday it hit me. Glad it will help you.
Thanks for your thoughts on this piece.
I think Red Candle would make a beautiful card! I like the second one the best. It’s very much like the third one but there is some subtle difference I can’t define.
Thanks Dorann, yes each one is slightly different by angle and lighting. Stay tuned . . .
Hello Mary, I do like #2 the best of the three. It seems warmer to me, the flame is different. Can’t help but wonder if a sprig of holly would make your lovely red candle seem more festive. That being said I do like your winter landscapes too. Have fun with your decision making process! Cheers, Susan
Thanks Susan, I’m leaning toward #2 as well – a surprise ending is coming. Stayed tuned (I have a feeling that my husband will prefer a landscape, but you never know).