Still Life

Ah, Still Life. The paintings artists do when they want to show off to other artists. OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but not entirely untrue. Still Life is all about observation and storytelling and is a lot more fun and challenging than it may look. You might be surprised how long it takes to just design an interesting setup to paint - I’m aware of artists who take hours or even days just setting it up, rearranging, adding objects, taking them away ... before they even pick up a brush. 

On the other hand, for those days where you’re just itching to paint but don’t necessarily have anything interesting in mind, or don’t have a lot of time, or where you just want to get some practice in of painting from life where your model isn’t going to fidget and complain, Still Life is a perfect choice. Grab a few vegetables from the kitchen, or a vase (flowers optional, dead or alive), or even that jar of dog biscuits, put it under a spotlight with some coloured cardboard as a background, and go for it. 

In my opinion, it’s far and away the best subject for beginner artists to tackle because it teaches everything you need in an environment that doesn’t change (as opposed to, say, landscape, where the sun keeps moving thus changing both shadows and colours). And, curiously, I’ve sold more Still Lifes than any other subject. So there’s that!


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