How Do I Plan a Still Life?

A word ‘still life’ means painting or drawing inanimate objects (things that are not living).  Still life is often seen as dull, but it is important when you are learning to draw. I think still life is the best place to start if you are a beginner because the items don’t move and you  have some choice of how difficult to make a still life.

There are all sorts of challenges in any still life such as shape, proportions, texture, viewpoints and you can draw from real life.  Therefore still life is really good for developing observational drawing skills.

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Why You Shouldn’t Forget the Background!

One of the most common mistakes beginner learners make when they start drawing and painting is forgetting about the background.  I see a lot of ‘floating’ jars of flowers, pots, vases and figures in the beginner classes.  The background should not be forgotten.  I will explain why:

Part of the Story

The background puts the subject in context and can ‘tell the story’ of what is happening.  For example if a figure is sitting on a sofa we know why their posture is a certain way, it would be different if they were sat on an upright chair for example.

There is useful tonal  information in the background which can help bring depth and tonal value to the subject.  Shadows are important for telling the observer that the subject is three dimensional and will tell us more about the lighting conditions.

Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Forget the Background!”