Upside Down Sardines – acrylic painting

The whole is more than the sum of its parts ~ by Aristotle

In January I was looking to paint a still life that would challenge me technically as an artist, this one gave me just what I had hoped for and more.  While painting this I had to remind myself not to get lost in the details, but remember the whole – what was I trying to convey.  Aristotle’s quote spoke directly to me ~

Upside Down Sardines, an acrylic painting (7×5) was painted on Canson Foundation paper canvas using mainly Liquitex acrylics.  It was the first time I painted fish so I had to manage the size of each sardine correctly and get the fish scales shiny and translucent so they were believable – my first set of challenges.  Another was working the jar to show the glass reflections and transparency allowing the fish to show through.  The napkin was another story entirely – lines, curves and shadows.

As I said, this painting gave me all the challenges I was looking for and then some.  But was a great learning experience.  Thanks for visiting ~

Please don’t take my images – my art is copyrighted.  Don’t copy or use the image without receiving my permission first – see disclosure on the right panel.

An image provided by a Russian photographer, Viacheslav (on pmp), was used as my inspiration.  He has an impressive portfolio of photographs – Viacheslav is a genius in his creation of interesting still life’s.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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64 Responses to Upside Down Sardines – acrylic painting

  1. That is quite a still life! Very interesting subject. Wonderful rendering of it. Rita

  2. What beautiful, rich colours! And the jar is so nicely done. You need to pat yourself on the back!

  3. Wow! This just leapt out at me from my screen. This is a real masterpiece. What a different subject too. 😃👏🏻

    • Mary says:

      Cool Sylvia and thank you so much. It is different, but something I really enjoyed working through it out in acrylics. All a learning process. Thanks again ~

  4. Emma Louise says:

    Great painting! I love that you used realistic colors, but it is still very eye-catching.

  5. Sardines taste so good…and your are so… inspiring…
    PS: Great work, the glass rendition is superb …

    • Mary says:

      Hello Robert, thank you for your thoughts and generous words on this piece. It was a fun one to work out. Appreciate the call-out on the glass!!

  6. restlessjo says:

    It looks very tricky, Mary. I wouldn’t know where to start. Hope life is treating you kindly. 🙂 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jo, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m well and working on my next piece. Hope you are having a beautiful weekend.

      • restlessjo says:

        It’s glorious here, Mary. Went for a stroll on the beach this morning and my husband is riveted to the World Cup football right now. 🙂 🙂

        • Mary says:

          The stroll sounds wonderful, with a nice sea breeze – my kind of morning. How is the temperatures by where you are, I’m reading that it’s in the 90’sF in England. The temperatures are starting to read like a Texas summer!!

  7. Lovely painting – it just WORKS!

  8. cmartzloff says:

    Hi Mary! I really like this painting. It has a whimsical nature to it and seems so well executed. Love the palette of colors and all the textures you have incorporated.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Catherine – I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this piece. It was a challenge for me, but in the end also taught me a lot.

  9. Aquileana says:

    Great pianting… and so creative!!!!. Sending love & best wishes, dear Mary! 😘💫

  10. Mary, beautiful still life. So unique, the checkered cloth makes this come alive!

  11. Resa says:

    Wonderful! I’m not a fan of sardines (to eat), but I am a fan of looking at this painting! Thank you!

  12. Beautiful work as usual Mary 🌹

  13. Stunning. You have always reproduced glass well, and the fish scales take it to another level

  14. Nice painting, I would never think of doing a still life with fish!!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Shawn for your kind words. If you look at the old masters still life paintings, you’ll find fish was a popular subject and of course they painted them so well. I really enjoy studying them to see how they accomplished their beautiful pieces of art.

  15. dorannrule says:

    You are amazing Mary!

  16. Kathy LaCorte says:

    Wow this is amazing. I know this was not easy.

  17. Your attention to details is awesome! Love you Cuz! ❤

  18. Novus Lectio says:

    That’s beautiful!

  19. Wow! This is incredible, Mary. You did a fantastic job! The sardines look life like and that napkin is amazing! It seems each painting gets better and better. xo

    • Mary says:

      So good to see you Jill. Thank you for your generous read on the painting and your compliment ~ you are always present and it’s great appreciated!!

  20. I have no skills with paint except when it comes to walls, but I know a beautiful piece of art when I see it. You did an amazing job. Your art is always so stunning that it looks like a photograph, and that is meant as a compliment.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Judy, your comment inspires me to get going and get the paint brushes back out. I can’t tell you how special it is to read your message, thank you ~

  21. Amy says:

    The composition of this Upside Down Sardines painting is refresh, creative, and beautifully presented. I like the texture and colors of the wall, tables, and napkin.And, the reflections and transparency of the glass jar are just beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing with us, Mary!

  22. Hi Dear Mary, – The result is excellent. It’s always good to stretch and challenge ourselves every now and then. I have missed you, as have been travelling a lot this year….more recently a month in the States, but I am back now for a while anyway:) Hope all is well with you. Janet

    • Mary says:

      So great to hear from you Janet, I was just thinking about you this morning going through some old posts wondering how you were. Glad you are well and sounds like you’ve been very busy – hope your US trip went well. I’ve missed you too, thank you as always for being present and being so generous with your feedback. I really appreciate it. Best wishes for a warm sunny, and oh so creative summer!

  23. Shreya says:

    Unbelievable art.

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