We love the titles we find in our collection of vintage Walter T. Foster books: Still Life is Exciting. It's true though! There is an exhilirating art to putting together and drawing or painting a distinct still life. And since art is timeless, we're sharing some tips from the archives.
The first decision you must make is what to paint. Try to select a subject which you really like and then eliminate about half the objects in the composition.
Next consider the scale of the objects in your compostion; it is a good rule to make them as near the actual size as you can within the limits of your canvas. This is easier since you are copying rather than transposing from one size to another.
Try to focus the interest on one or two parts of the canvas—the eye is naturally selective and you physically cannot focus on two things at once. This means that certain sections will be painted in more detail and will have more contrast of value and brighter color than the rest of the painting.
Images and text courtesy of the Walter Foster Publishing archives
How do you keep your still lifes exciting?
If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh
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