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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still Life Painting

Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Apples, 

If you are stuck with what to draw or paint, I would recommend still life for beginners. Still life is an artwork depicting inanimate objects. These are things that do not have a life. Anything around you that's sitting somewhere and does not move is still life.

If you feel you are not ready for something bigger, start painting objects in still life. This is a good way to practice with the art medium you have chosen and learn more in creating different textures. It is like getting the hang of everything. It is also one way of working out those fingers and how you handle your painting materials. Start your painting project with two objects of your choice. You can probably start with one tall object and the other one small, let us say, a fruit. Select something that is simple in shape. After all, you are just starting. It does not have to be rich in detail as this is going to be a lot of effort for starters. Now, the challenge lies in your choice of composition. Why? Because you will not only focus on the two objects but also with the negative space. You may be thinking what a negative space is. A negative space is the space between two objects and around it. The opposite of the negative space is positive space which is the area of your subject itself. So now, you get the picture? Apart from your subject, it is important to also give life to the areas surrounding it. Therefore, you have three main considerations; namely: the negative space, the shadows and the different tones in the background. That's all there is to it.

The great way to set up your still life is, of course, somewhere near you and on the right height of your view point. In this way, you wouldn't have to bend or move every time just to get a good view of your object. It should be very convenient to your sight.


  1. Although I paint with words as a writer rather than colors as an artist, I can see this negative space idea taking place in a story. It's important to set characters somewhere so that one is not having the story take place in a vacuum. Although the scenery is not the story, there are things one can do with this negative space to make it improve the overall project.


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  3. @ JOYCE: Wow! That was very well said. I couldn't disagree with that..will hop in right to yours.

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  5. I used to do so many still life paintings in high school that I thought I hated them... I'm glad I gave them a second chance as an adult. They are very calming.
    Anyway... new follower on Networked
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