I often get asked ‘what should I draw?’ I think drawing anything is worthwhile but there are some objects that are useful to draw and everyone can get hold of. I explain why these objects are good for teaching certain skills.
Pots, Jars and Vases
You may think these are a bit dull to draw but they are can develop your observational drawing skills. Everyone has these at home too so they are something you can easily find. They are good for learning ellipses (circles in perspective) see my post What are Ellipses? if you would like to know more about ellipses.
Try drawing different sized pots, jars and vases and you can practice shapes and comparative proportions (how tall or wide something is in comparison to something else).
Apples and Oranges
These are easy to get hold of and because they are round shapes they are good to draw. Studying how light hits a round sphere is a good drawing exercise for shading and tone. See my post What is a Tonal Value? for more information about tone and how to learn about tones. Try moving the apple or orange in different angles and observing light bounce off them. Put them on a shelf and draw them in strong daylight to get the best results.
Chairs or Stalls
Slightly more challenging subjects as they will test your perspective skills. They are are good for learning about angles (particularly if we can see the legs of the chair or stall) and negative and positive space. See my post What is Negative and Positive Space?
Fabric is worth studying on its own because folds and creases are challenging subject matter. It is often the folds and creases in a fabric that give the game away if not observed correctly because they tell the story of how the fabric falls and what is underneath it. Observe fabric and you will become better at drawing and painting clothed figures.
Drawing and painting fabric is excellent for blending skills because most fabric has smooth blends from dark to light as it folds and creases.
Try these objects and see how you get on, there are benefits in concentrating on each object first before putting a still life together of several objects. See my post What is a Blending Tool? for more advice.