View Full Version : Can I borrow someone's eyes?

03-27-2009, 10:01 AM
I've been looking at this too long... something about the candlestick seems off and I can't tell what. Anyone notice anything?

03-27-2009, 11:39 AM
Hi there. Iíll take a shot, but I think the more classical painters will advise better.

First, Iím gathering youíre going for at least a somewhat realistic image, given the rendering in the candle, so my observations are in that context.

1. The five circular planes that define the candlestick horizontal space (as well as the plane defining the table) seem out of perspective with their respective planes. Itís slight but gives a sense of being not quite right. However, real candlesticks are often not perfectly made, so this might be a red herring for fixing your problem. But I notice it.

2. The candlestick painting style seems inconsistent with that in the candle which seems more ďrealisticallyĒ rendered. The candlestick seems more a base layer for the application of glazes (in AR using layered blend tools) that would give it more of that realistic silver look.

3. There are no shadows in the candlestick. It seems almost all high-mid tones and highlights. Consequently the candlestick doesnít produce a real sense of a volume in a space. This includes missing shadows on the table and gives the appearance that the candlestick is floating in the air.

4. With respect to shadows, the light sources are not defined. Whether the flame is the only light source or there are others will affect how to execute the shadows and will further affect how the volume of the candlestick appears in space.

Perhaps these are useful avenues for addressing your concerns??? Again, I think a more classical painter than me will nail this better, but I think Iím somewhere in the ballpark.

On a side note, the candle seems quite realistically rendered, but I find Iím a little bothered by the way the two points of wax rise up on the left side. It seems to defy gravity. The extent of melt would seem to suggest considerably more melting to have solidified towards the bottom the candle where it meets the candlestick. Maybe a simple way of saying it is the melt seems isolated in the wrong place and incomplete. Meanwhile, the candle may benefit by a better application of shadows consistent with the shadowing that might benefit the candlestick.
Is this at all useful????

Good luck and maybe one of the more accomplished classical painters will chime in. Iíd love to hear their suggestions for my own edification.

Best, Byron

03-27-2009, 11:52 AM
Thank-you. That does give me quite a bit to work with. I'll give some thought to how to fix what you've pointed out. Thanks again.

03-27-2009, 12:01 PM
Good luck :)

I also stumbled on a tutorial for painting candles and flames at

I think it's worth a peek, especially seeing how the artist handled light.

03-27-2009, 12:06 PM
Checked it out... thanks for the tip. It is going to be very useful I think.